Charminar, the symbol of Hyderabad, has suffered damage as a piece of lime stucco work on one of its minarets fell down following unseasonal rains, officials said on Thursday, raising concerns about the stability of the 428-year-old structure.
The Archaeological Survey of India had undertaken restoration work on the monument sometime ago. Superintending Archaeologist of the ASI Milind Kumar Chauley said, “Work was in progress to give a uniform colour to the entire monument. Apart from this, minor conservation work was included. The portion which collapsed was old and largely ornamental,” He also added that “The plastering on the monument is not original, as it was redone in 1924 by the Nizam (seventh, Mir Osman Ali Khan, the Asaf Jahi monarch of the erstwhile state of Hyderabad). About two decades ago, a similar incident took place on another minaret. I have also been asking the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to not undertake any heavy machinery work. But I’ve learnt that they used it to demolish a building a few days ago.”
The portion which fell off was on the second storey of the south-west minaret. Pictures from the site showed that the lime-plaster comprising eight flower-petals, sized about 2.5 meters/0.8 meters, came-off the minaret. The incident has raised fresh concerns among heritage lovers about the safety of the iconic structure, whose lime plasters have peeled off in the past as well.