The 135-year-old Nizam era Warangal Central Jail in Telangana became history with the authorities demolishing the prison structures to build a multi super-specialty hospital.
The demolition work, which was taken up on Sunday on a massive scale, was almost completed within 24 hours.
Spread over 59.5 acres the jail was built in 1885 by the government of Nizam Mir Mahbub Ali Khan VI, the ruler of then Hyderabad State.
Many prominent personalities including those who took part in the Indian freedom struggle, Telangana Peasants’ Movement, and Telangana Statehood movement were imprisoned in this jail in Warangal town.
Amid reports that some individuals are planning to move the High Court seeking directions to stop demolition of the jail, the authorities deployed heavy machinery to complete the work at a brisk pace. The operation was completed with secrecy as all approach roads were sealed and even media persons were not given access to the area.
It was the second-largest jail in Telangana. Earlier this month, all 957 prisoners imprisoned there were shifted to jails in Mahabubabad, Chanchalguda, Cherlapally open-air jail, Nizamabad, Adilabad, and Khammam.
The state government has allocated Rs 250 crore for a new central prison for Warangal. Director General of TS Prisons Rajiv Trivedi said the new jail will be built near Mamnoor fourth battalion police camp premises on the outskirts of Warangal. Officials carried out a survey of the 100-acre land for building the new jail.
Meanwhile, the state government has decided to build a 24-storied building for the super multi-specialty hospital coming in place of the old prison.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said this hospital will have better medical facilities than any other such hospital in the country.
He directed officials to provide all modern facilities including a helipad facility on the terrace for landing of helicopters bringing patients for emergency care.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, asked officials to build the hospital as a Green Building with the Canadian style of cross ventilation. He directed officials concerned to visit Canada to have the firsthand experience.
The chief minister will be laying foundation stone for the hospital on June 21. The facility is likely to be built on the lines of the multi-storied Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre in Canada.
The foundation stone for the hospital will be laid exactly a month after KCR visited Warangal jail and decided to demolish it to a build a multi super-specialty hospital with the latest technology, equipment and medical services.
He announced that a jail would be built on the lines of Cherlapally Open Air Jail in a sprawling campus on Warangal outskirts. The new prison would also have a correctional centre.
The proposed hospital in Warangal, the second biggest city in the state after Hyderabad, is part of the state government’s plans to strengthen healthcare infrastructure in the state.
The State Cabinet decided last week that the government will spend Rs.10,000 crore over next two years to provide world-class healthcare facilities to the people.
The government wants to focus on the public health sector the way it strengthened irrigation sector and brought qualitative changes.
A Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by finance minister Harish Rao was constituted to prepare a report with all details in this regard.
The Sub-Committee will review the situation in government hospitals, staff and other infrastructure facilities. The panel will tour Kerala, Tamil Nadu where better medical treatment is given as well as Sri Lanka, to study the situation and submit a report.