Hyderabad: With the restoration and beautification of the historic MJ Market nearing completion, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is slowly turning its focus to another heritage space, Mahboob Chowk, popularly known as Murghi Chowk.
Last year, the municipal corporation had taken up repair and restoration works on the clock tower near the market. Since the market is identified as a heritage structure, the GHMC is now focusing on it, and efforts are being intensified to restore the past glory of the area. As the structure is very old, the GHMC had last year roped in experts from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) to study and submit a report.
The experts said the structure was in a dilapidated condition and not suitable for living or conducting business. The corporation had then prepared an estimate to demolish the existing structure and reconstruct a new one at a cost of Rs 36 crore.
The GHMC’s standing committee had approved the plans and sought administrative sanction from the government to execute the works. However, heritage activists came out against the suggestion and wanted the GHMC to rethink its plans. Now, the corporation is exploring other possibilities to retain the past glory of the structure.
According to a senior GHMC official, there are two suggestions. One is to develop a ground plus first floor structure replicating the existing structure and the other is to restore and take up beautification works as was done at MJ Market.
“MJ market works are nearing completion and soon after its completion, we will take up Murghi Chowk works. A meeting is expected to be convened shortly to discuss the issue and finalise the future course of action,” he said.
Currently, there are nearly 230 shops in Mahboob Chowk. Many of these are vacant and a few are damaged. Constructed in the 1930s along with MJ Market, Mahboob Chowk was actually meant for shopkeepers selling antiques, different kind of birds, groceries and other commodities. But over the years, chicken shops took over the structure, and from Mahboob Chowk, the area became more popular as Murghi Chowk.