Decision by the Telangana government to demolish the Osmania General Hospital (OGH) due to its dilapidated condition has won widespread condemnation, with the Congress describing KCR of Talabanistic in his approach.
The plan to dismantle the building and put up a modern structure in its place was taken after Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao’s recent visit to the building. The government already began shifting patients to other facilities to begin the demolition work.
Congress and other social organisations have condemned the move, saying the government did not make any effort to renovate the historical buildings and allow them to function the way they do now.
Leader of opposition in the state Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir said the Chief Minister is determined to erase edifices from the Nizam era the way Talaban in Afghanistan and the ISIS are doing.
He particularly criticised Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali’s statement that the government would not hesitate to take the Charminar apart if it becomes a threat to the public.
"Even Mughal emperor Aurangzeb spared Charminar when he conquered Golconda. While he demolished all beautiful palaces built by Qutb Shahi kings, he did not touch Charminar as it houses a mosque on the second floor," he said.
“Talaban and ISIS militants demolished historical structures to register their supremacy. KCR’s desire to demolish Secretariat, Chest Hospital and now Osmania General Hospital, built by Nizam of Hyderabad, seems like a bid to enter history as the man who erased memories of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty,” he said.
Local historians question KCR’s decision to demolish the OGH based on his own view that it is crumbling. They say the Chief Minister should instead constitute an expert committee to study the OGH’s condition and suggest ways to preserve it.
“When more than 400 years old Qutb Shahi Tombs could be preserved, then why not the OGH built in 1919? Asks architecture student Jafar Siddique, adding that the government can build a modern structure in the vast open area available in OGH premises.
OGH alumni are puzzled as to why the building should go, when structures much older than the Nizam relic continue to house hospitals across the world.