Hyderabad: A fresh chapter in history awaits the heritage stepwells in the city and its neighbourhood. These water bodies, which are important for ground water recharging apart from being part of the city’s precious heritage, are being revived and restored by the State government with city-based water warriors too chipping in with their own efforts.
Two water bodies with historical significance that were recently restored by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) are the Bhagwandas Bagh Baoli and Shiva Bagh Baoli, both of them located near Gudimalkapur. Works are underway near the Saidanima tomb near Tank Bund as well.
The Hyderabad Design Forum (HDF) submitted a list of 100 wells in the State to Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) department. The authorities have decided to shortlist the wells which will get a facelift and take up works in a phased manner while the water warriors are contributing in their own individual capacities.
One stepwell in Gachibowli, two in Kokapet and one in Bapu Ghat are the ones that are getting a facelift with the help of such warriors. They have incorporated methods to recharge ground water as part of their setwell restoration project. With the help of basic infrastructure, they are draining the rain water into these wells. The rainwater from roofs of buildings located near the wells is also being diverted into these water bodies.
Members of The Rainwater Project, the group restoring the stepwells in Gachibowli and Kokapet, said the structures were being restored to their original grandeur.
“We see so many old heritage structures being cemented, but while restoring the Gachibowli stepwell, even the lime inside the well was tested before taking up structural alterations. Ready mix with similar lime concentration was used while restoring,” said Kalpana Ramesh, founder of the forum. “Chirec International, appreciating our commitment, decided to fund the project,” she added.
Water from the roofs of a Madrasa, a Mosque and other structures were diverted into the Gachibowli stepwell. For the Kokapet stepwell, rain water from a Gaushala roof nearby is being diverted into the well.
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