Crumbling OGH awaits restoration

Published on May 15, 2015 03:25:09 AM
The much-awaited restoration of the 105-year-old Osmania General Hospital at a cost of Rs 19 crore is yet to take off, as the proposal has been gathering dust in the cupboards of the Telangana State Health department for quite some time.

The first restoration proposal was submitted by the hospital authorities to the previous united Andhra Pradesh government with a budget of Rs 15 crore, but it was not taken up by the government for reasons unknown. The second proposal was sent to the Medical and Heakth Infrastructure department on the latter’s insistence about two months ago and but, there is still no confirmation on sanction of funds to initiate work on the massive structure.

The Osmania General Hospital was built on the bank of River Musi near Afzalgunj in the early 1900s by last Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan. The Nizam era building was often in news for all the wrong reasons, like defunct and stinking bathrooms and patches of ceiling giving away.

Several parts of the structure are in need of restoration. The successive governments neglected this heritage structure which is part of the rich history of the 400-year-old city.

The architectural features of Osmania General Hospital are very striking and it is a unique blend of Indo-Saracenic style. 

The features of the building are onion (bulbous) domes, overhanging eaves, pointed arches, cusped arches, or scalloped arches, vaulted roofs and many more.

Sharing his views, renowned architect G Suryanarayana Murthy says, "The restoration plans for this historic building have been on papers for a very long time. The proposal for the restoration has been submitted twice, but as of now no confirmation has been given by the governments.

The structure is facing major damages and there have been cases that the plaster from the ceiling is also peeling off which has been posing a threat to the life of patients. There are many new structures which have been constructed without proper planning, making the foundation weak.”

"Even the beautiful chajjas and brackets in the elevation have developed cracks. Apart from this, there is also vegetal growth which is increasing, and adding to the misery is the seeping drainage water which presents a complete picture of decay and negligence,” says the architect.

Adding more he says, "The restoration of the monument should be done with utmost care and every minute detail should be taken into consideration. I suggest applying anti-corrosive paint to the steel joists in the jack arch roof, water-proofing of the chajjas and brackets, scrapping of the dome to remove the loose particles besides repainting of the joints. There has to be chemical cleaning of the stone structure, sivara (plastering) and correction of the dampness through lime concrete.”

Responding to queries on the subject, an official at OGH on condition of anonymity said, "The restoration works are yet to start and they have been pending for a very long time. The heritage structure has surely lost its glory.

There is no official confirmation on the sanction of funds, but we are hopeful that the state government will surely take the situation into consideration. There have been many instances when the plans have been halted, but in the present situation, I think this project will be fruitful.”