Why is Telangana failing to protect Hill Fort Palace: HC | | Hyderabad News

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HYDERABAD: The Telangana high court on Thursday sought to know from the state tourism development corporation as to why it is failing to protect a historical monument, Hill Fort Palace, that served as a residence for the erstwhile Hyderabad State’s Chief Justice and was later bought by Nizam himself.
The bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy was hearing a public interest petition filed by Hyderabad Heritage Trust that expressed concern over the current dilapidated state of the palatial building despite it being notified as a protected monument by the state.
The state gave it to the tourism development corporation which was entrusted with the task of protecting it and also to commercially exploit the precincts and the palace without harming the structure. But the corporation could not succeed in the task except for renting it out for film shoots occasionally, nor did it file its counter before the court explaining its difficulties to do so. K Ramakanth Reddy, the counsel for the petitioner said that the petitioner trust has been obtaining oral consent from the authorities and cleaning the palace and its premises. “Though we are ready to protect the palace, we are not given the task,” he said. The bench gave one last opportunity to the corporation and made it clear that if the corporation further dodges filing its counter, then the court would proceed further on the premise that the corporation has got nothing to say in the matter and its right to file a counter will then be forfeited.
Sir Nizamat Jung Bahadur, the Chief Justice for the Princely State of Hyderabad, got the Hill Fort Palace built in 1915 and he resided in it for 15 years. The architecture model of Trinity College, Cambridge was adopted while designing the building. Later, Mir Osman Ali Khan Siddiqui, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, bought it in 1929 for his son Moazzam Jah who was also heading the city improvement board at that time. After the annexure of Hyderabad to Indian Union, the palace was leased out to commercial interests who named it as Ritz and ran it as a star hotel. Upon the expiry of the lease period, the land and the palace returned to the state which, in 1997, handed it over to the tourism development corporation with the twin objectives of protecting it and also to run it on commercial lines. Ramakanth Reddy alleged that the corporation filed on both counts. The case will come up again in June.


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