Hyderabad, Dec 5 (IANS) Restoration of Hyderabad's rich heritage received a big boost with the unveiling of the restored stepwell in Bansilalpet area of Secunderabad here on Monday.
The Telangana government completed restoration of the 17th century stepwell which was in dilapidated condition and filled with garbage.
The stepwell had once served drinking water needs of the locality, but later was neglected to turn into a garbage dump. The revived stepwell will prevent inundation and improve the groundwater levels.
The urban development authorities plan to turn it into a tourist attraction and a cultural centre.
Minister for municipal administration and urban development K.T. Rama Rao inaugurated the restored stepwell.
He expressed happiness over the completion of the project with the participation of various non-governmental organisations.
He said after hard work of more than a one year, the stepwell was restored by various departments in partnership with organisations like Rainwater Project, Gandipet Welfare Society and the local community.
'The city is not about a few concrete structures, a few steel bridges and a few buildings or flyovers or underpasses. The city's soul is all about its culture, heritage and beautiful monuments. Unfortunately, we have not able to protect this for last few centuries,' he said
He pointed out that the restoration work involved clearing 3,900 metric tonnes of garbage and debris from the stepwell. The same was cleared with 863 truck trips.
Various departments and NGOs spent Rs 10 crore on the restoration project.
As part of the project, a museum, a cafeteria and amphitheatre have come up at the site.
KTR, as the minister is popularly known, said all 43 stepwells in different parts of the city will be restored.
He noted that Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) has restored six historic stepwells at Qutb Shahi Tombs and UNESCO recently the conservation effort with the 2022 award of distinction.
He reiterated that the ultimate goal of the government is to achieve UNESCO world heritage status for Hyderabad and as part of this several historic monuments in the city were being conserved and restored.
Stepwells are considered to be of utmost importance environmentally, architecturally and historically.
According to the Rainwater Project, the Bansilalpet stepwell has an annual rainwater harvesting potential of 35 lakh litres.
Under the restoration initiative, the organization took up cleaning, dewatering and desilting of the well and also structural strengthening of retaining walls.
In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned the restoration of the stepwell during his monthly radio programme 'Mann ki Baat'.
Referring to the efforts of water conservation being made in various parts of the state, the Prime Minister mentioned the restoration of a historic stepwell.