HYDERABAD: Protection of the State’s heritage will soon be a reality as the government is now dealing with constituting heritage committees in city, district and State-levels.
Speaking to The Hindu, Youth Advancement, Tourism and Culture Secretary B. Venkatesham confirmed the development.
“A gazette notification of the Telangana Heritage (Protection, Reservation, Conservation and Maintenance) Act, 2017, has already been issued. This means that the Telangana State Heritage Authority (TSHA) has been constituted. This will be headed by the Chief Secretary. The district-level committees will be headed by the respective Collectors and in the GHMC limits, by the Commissioner,” he said. Mr. Venkatesham however said that few positions in the TSHC, which is mandated by the Act, are vacant as the State Government is yet to nominate members. “There are a few nominated posts which are yet to be filled. These will be filled soon,” he said.
Sources said that as soon as different committees are constituted, they will have the discretion to populate district and city heritage lists. “There have been apprehensions from some sections of heritage activists that the monuments and sites which have been mentioned in the Act’s annexures do not contain those from Qutb Shahi and Asaf Jahi periods. The district and city committees have the full power to add these monuments and deem them as heritage structures,” an official who did not wish to be identified said.
In what could be a boost to owners of heritage structures, the source said that the government is keen to give facilities such as tax exemptions. This, the source added, would encourage better maintenance of heritage structures and sites.