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Hyderabad’s Bansilalpet stepwell restoration wins UAE government award

The seventeenth-century stepwell, which had turned into a dumpyard over the decades, was unearthed after removing over 2,000 tonnes of debris and relocating families that lived on the site.

stepwell, hyderabadThe Bansilalpet stepwell and precinct restoration project was carried out by the architectural firm Kshetra Consultants and executed by The Rain Water Project Society. (Photo: Twitter/@KTRTRS)
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The Bansilalpet stepwell and precinct restoration project in Secunderabad received the prestigious Big 5 Construction Impact Award in Dubai on Monday, the same day the premises were thrown open to the public after the recent restoration.

The seventeenth-century stepwell, which had turned into a dumpyard over the last four decades, was unearthed after removing over 2,000 tonnes of debris and relocating families that lived on the site. Over the last year, it was restored to its original glory.

The project was carried out by the architectural firm Kshetra Consultants and executed by The Rain Water Project with support from Gandipet Welfare Society and the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) department of Telangana.

The Big 5 construction impact awards by the UAE’s ministry of energy and infrastructure recognise sustainable development and technological and digital achievements in the construction industry. The winners were announced at a ceremony at the Dubai World Trade Centre Monday. It awarded the joint venture of M/s Kshetra Consultants and The Rain Water Project for their initiative “sustainable revitalisation of traditional knowledge of rainwater harvesting at Bansilalpet”.

Telangana Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao inaugurated the restored stepwell that now has cobblestone-paved surroundings, an amphitheatre, a multi-storeyed tourist plaza and a viewing gallery overlooking the stepwell. It also has a history interpretation centre, besides a cafeteria and toilets. The adjoining open ground is now fenced and has a garden, jogging track and stone benches.

Kalpana Ramesh of The Rain Water Project tweeted: “#BansilalpetStepwellRestoration received the “Sustainability Initiative of the Year 2022″ at the Big 5, Global Impact awards in Dubai yesterday. We received jointly as #Kshetra ( Conservation Architects) and @rainwater_info Thankyou @KTRTRS @YadavTalasani @arvindkumar_ias.” She added, “Super happy Ar Sumana Rao my classmate received the award yesterday on my behalf #Arsuryanarayana garu Congratulations and Kudos to my entire team

@rainwater_info”.

Taking to Twitter, special chief secretary (MAUD) Arvind Kumar said: “An international recognition for #Telangana Govt. & @KTRTRS’s urban initiatives ! #Bansilalpet precinct restoration was awarded for “sustainable revitalisation of traditional rainwater harvesting” @ “Big 5 construction Impact” awards by UAE’s Min of Energy & Infra on Dec 5th” (sic)

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As indianexpress.com had previously reported, following the restoration of the stepwell and precincts, the state government desires to restore 10 more neglected stepwells across the city in the next four months. Arvind Kumar had then said that it was considering the same model for the historic surroundings around Charminar – Hyderabad’s 431-year-old foundation monument.

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“The idea is that if people feel economic value and benefit in the whole effort, it will become a people’s project and they will preserve it. In the Charminar area, too, we have identified 49 structures (other than Charminar) in the 500-metre radius that will be restored, renovated, and economically integrated with the local population, in the same way,” Kumar had said.

First published on: 06-12-2022 at 18:43 IST
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