Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday said that the state government respects and wants to protect heritage structures but all old structures are not heritage buildings. He said the word heritage had become a joke in the state.
He said this in the special Assembly session in reply to a mention of the Osmania General Hospital buildings, but it comes in the backdrop of the court case against the demolition of the Errum Manzil to construct the new state legislature. The issue of the OGH buildings are also a matter of controversy.
Mr Rao was speaking during a discussion on the Telangana Public Employment (Regulation of Age of Superannuation) Act to enhance the retirement age for faculty members of government medical and dental colleges, including semi-autonomous and autonomous medical colleges, from 58 to 65 years.
MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi said assistant professors in medical colleges were apprehensive that the enhancement of retirement age will hamper their chances of promotion and would impact recruitment of doctors. He also pointed to the delay in the construction of new Osmania General Hospital buildings.
At this point, Mr Rao said a cross-section of the people were demanding that the new buildings be built on the existing premises (of the Osmania General Hospital). Although that shouldn't be a problem, he explained, some old structures on the premises were classified as heritage structures.
“We respect our heritage and culture, but we must consider the needs of modern society. Our predecessors declared several old buildings including private buildings and even the Dilkhusha Guest House as heritage structures,” he said.
Mr Rao said the state government had already brought out a heritage policy through an Act and would appoint an expert committee to examine heritage buildings.
Apropos of the increase in the retirement age for medical faculty, Mr Rao assured the House that the government would fill the 1,379 vacant posts, including 801 assistant professor positions, at the earliest.
“Medical faculty members are in high demand, so the increase in the retirement age will have no impact on recruitment. We will have the vacant posts filled up on a priority basis,” he said.
Mr Rao added that several states (and the Centre) had already increased the retirement age for medical faculty. He explained that a severe shortage of medical faculty in several medical colleges was leading students to opt for medical colleges outside the state.
The House passed the bill after the Congress, MIM and BJP gave approval.
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