HYDERABAD – An online campaign is gaining momentum to save Osmania General Hospital’s structure after Telangana government decided to demolish the old building of the hospital in Hyderabad.
A Change.org petition, ‘Save Osmania General Hospital – protect heritage and health’, launched on Friday has gained over 6,0026 signatures as of Sunday.
The anonymous group which launched the campaign under the ‘Save Osmania General Hospital’ banner said, “We want the government to restore and not demolish the old heritage building. The government should take urgent steps to ensure that the building is not further damaged. Now that the building is sealed, the government should stop any entry into the building.”
“Health infrastructure and heritage can go hand in hand and the heritage building Osmania General Hospital must be restored and not demolished. A new hospital can be constructed in the remaining ample area to boost the health infrastructure whilst maintaining the beauty of an iconic building that showcases Hyderabad’s immense heritage,” the petition on Change.org adds.
They also asked the government to involve the public in the decisions relating to OGH.
Earlier this week, following a protest from doctors and staff working from OGH, the hospital administration sealed the 100-year-old building.
Recently, the hospital was flooded with rainwater due to a blocked sewage pipe causing problems for the patients and doctors. Photos and videos of the incident went viral leading to a political brawl.
Health Minister Eatala Rajender had said that the government will raze the building down soon, and raise new towers in its place.
“People who are opposing the construction of a new building should remember that the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, had constructed the hospital as a health facility to serve the people and not to project it as a monument,” Rajender was quoted by Times of India as saying.
The government had decided to demolish the dilapidated structure in 2015 by delisting it as a heritage structure. However, following opposition from heritage enthusiasts and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), the decision was withdrawn and the Rs 200 crore hospital promised by the government in the old structure’s place, never materialized.
However, the petitioners cite the INTACH report from 2015 claiming that the structure is ‘stable’ and can be protected.