Hyderabad: A crack on the north eastern portion of the historic Charminar will now see the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) rope in premium institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad, and the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Warangal, to probe whether the crack would have a serious impact on the monument.
These institutions will be assigned with the task of examining how the crack, along with several other smaller fissures, have formed on the structure and whether those would affect the structural integrity of the Charminar.
ASI had discovered the cracks a few years ago but was still unable to pinpoint the reasons or the possible outcomes of the cracks. One of the theories is that water stagnation during rainfall could have caused seepage of water into the structure. However, with no confirmation on this, the ASI has decided to have experts from different premier engineering colleges to examine the cracks.
The 400-year-old structure stands tall at 160 feet and was built using granite, limestone, mortar and pulverized marble.
Milan Kumar Chauley, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Hyderabad, said the department had earlier sought help from IIT Madras. However, due to budgetary constraints, it was now decided to get help from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University and other premium engineering colleges, including IIT Hyderabad and NIT Warangal as well.
Review of repairs
Once the experts from these colleges join the mission, they are expected not to just study the cracks, but to also review the repairs being undertaken on the monument, he said. Based on their inputs, the department would proceed with further works, he added.
Officials indicated that the study would also check out the possibility of restricting the number of tourists entering the monument at one particular point of time. This was because there were thousands visiting the Charminar every day, with the monument witnessing huge crowds on weekends and holidays.
“This monument was not constructed to handle many visitors at one go. In the past, ASI had imposed limitation for visitors in Ajanta caves in Maharashtra. There is a possibility of replicating the same for Charminar based on the inputs from the study,” he said.
On the other hand, the ASI has asked the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation to provide roofs on the pathway near Charminar under the Charminar Pedestrianisation Project as it would help visitors coming to the monument in summer and rainy season.