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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Charminar pedestrianisation a far cry?

J.S. Ifthekhar

Officials not in a position to even hazard a guess when the project will see the light of the day


CPP bogged down by bureaucratic wrangling, shifting of priorities

The project cost is now expected to cross

Rs. 300 crore




DREAM OR REALITY: The Charminar Pedestriansiation Project aimed at decongesting the area around the monument hangs fire even as the project cost has almost doubled. (Right) There are 150 shops in Patharghatti where authorities are facing a problem convincing shop-keepers to go for uniform signboards.


Hyderabad: Comparing it to a snail's pace will be a gross understatement. The belly-footed animal is a tad faster than the GHMC. The tardy execution of the Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP) puts to shame even the crawling organism, the symbol of laziness.

Yes. In the making for the last 12 years, the project to decongest Hyderabad's most famous icon, Charminar, is nowhere near completion. Worse, officials are not in a position to even hazard a guess when it will see the light of the day. Of course there is no dearth of excuses for the inordinate delay - writ petitions, festivals, shifting of Charminar bus stand, curfews, elections. But in reality bureaucratic wrangling, lack of inter-departmental coordination and shifting priorities have bogged down the project right from inception.

Even in the GHMC, three different wings – Town Planning, Estate Section and Engineering division – are involved and they have their own priorities.

And in the meantime, the CPP cost has shot up from a modest Rs. 139 crore to Rs. 200 crore. And now it is expected to cross Rs. 300 crore.

Road widening

Road widening still remains the major issue. Nearly 7.5 km of widening is done on the outer ring road and 2.5 km on the inner ring road at a cost of Rs. 35 crore.

As many as 682 of the 807 structures identified have been pulled down. The GHMC has paid up Rs. 25 crore by way of compensation. And still 40 structures, mostly shops, remain to be demolished.

“Court cases are holding up the road expansion work,” says K. Srinivas Rao, senior architect planner, GHMC.

Want of funds and clear direction has held up the different components of CPP at different stages.

For instance there is no progress at all on the conservation of the four historic arches – Char Kaman, Machili Kaman, Kali Kaman and Sehr-e-Batil Kaman and Patharghatti façade. Tenders were issued twice recently, but not a single contractor responded.

There are not many skilled labours to take up heritage work, it is said.

Night bazaar plan

The night bazaar plan also hangs fire as the 1000 sq. mt land near Charminar traffic police station is caught up in land acquisition proceedings. Same is the case with uniform sign boards for shops.

Of the 150 shops on Patharghatti only 50 have given consent for changing their signboards – although GHMC is picking up the bill.

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