“Osmania General Hospital, an Icon of History, Faces Demolition as Telangana Government Takes a Decisive Stand”
Hyderabad’s historic Osmania General Hospital (OGH) is set to be demolished by the Telangana government, as revealed in an affidavit submitted to the Telangana High Court. The state government cited the current building’s unsuitability for hospital use as the primary reason for this decision and disclosed plans to construct a new OGH building spread over an extensive area of 35.76 lakh square feet.
The decision to demolish the OGH building was taken during a meeting attended by prominent ministers like Mahmood Ali and Talsani Srinivas, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, and officials from various departments including health, GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation), MA&UD
(Municipal Administration and Urban Development), R&B (Roads and Buildings), and OGH representatives.
The government clarified that the existing OGH building is unsafe for providing patient care, necessitating its removal along with other satellite structures to make way for the construction of a modern hospital. The current building’s conditions forced the hospital to reduce its bed capacity to
only 1100 beds after vacating parts of the structure. However, the hospital requires 1812 beds to adequately handle the current patient load.
The OGH building controversy dates back to July 23, 2015, when Telangana Chief Minister KCR (K. Chandrashekar Rao) visited the hospital and expressed concern about patient safety due to the deteriorating structure. In response, he proposed demolishing the building and replacing it with a modern hospital, allocating a budget of Rs 200 crore for the project.
Since then, the decision has been met with both support and opposition, leading to various petitions and Public Interest Litigations (PILs) being filed. Among those opposing the demolition was the
Deccan Archaeological and Cultural Research Institute, which approached the High Court seeking the renovation of the existing structure along with new buildings, as specified in GO 313 issued on November 3, 2010.
However, on July 27, 2023, the Telangana government put an end to the uncertainty surrounding the the fate of OGH by officially declaring its intent to demolish the current building and replace it with a new one.
The Osmania General Hospital, constructed in 1919 during the reign of the last Nizam of Hyderabad,
Osman Ali Khan holds historical significance. Nevertheless, with its current state posing risks to patient safety, the government believes that constructing a modern hospital in its place is the best way forward.
While the decision to demolish Osmania General Hospital is driven by a genuine concern for public health and the need for modern facilities, it remains a contentious issue. Preserving historical landmarks and cultural heritage is vital, and finding a balance between modernization and heritage conservation is crucial.
In conclusion, the decision to demolish Osmania General Hospital marks a critical juncture in the history of healthcare in Hyderabad. As the government proceeds with its plans, it must navigate through the complexities of heritage preservation, public interest, and healthcare demands to arrive at a solution that respects the past while securing a brighter future for healthcare in the region.
Thedebates and discussions surrounding this issue will undoubtedly continue, shaping the outcome of this transformative decision.