N.T.Rama Rao's Memorial At NTR Gardens
|Location||Hussain Sagar, Hyderabad|
|Area||55 acres (22 ha)|
|Created||December 15, 2001|
|Operated by||Buddha Purnima Project Authority|
|Status||Open all year|
NTR Gardens is a small public, urban park of 36 acres (0.15 km2; 0.056 sq mi) adjacent to Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad, India. Constructed in several phases since 1999, the area that is predominantly a park is geographically located in the centre of the city, and is close to other tourist attractions such as Birla Mandir, Necklace Road and Lumbini Park. It maintained by the Buddha Purnima Project Authority that functions under the directives of the Government of Telangana.
In 1999, a land of 5 acres (20,000 m2) from a 55-acre (220,000 m2) plot was utilized for erecting a memorial for N. T. Rama Rao, the former Chief Minister of unbifurcated Andhra Pradesh. It was inaugurated by Chandrababu Naidu. It was planned to further expand this area, which has since been referred to as NTR Gardens, by constructing a museum about N. T. Rama Rao. This memorial was a part of the Buddha Purnima Project that was being handled by Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for the beautification and development of the Hussain Sagar lake and its surroundings as a major tourist attraction.
In 2000, the Government of Andhra Pradesh expressed its plans to develop this area with several projects such the NTR Gardens itself, a rock garden and an IMAX theatre. Few days later, a government official firstly said that the rock garden will be taken up by Dubai-based NRIs at a cost of Rs. 27 crores. Secondly the IMAX theatre project, which was said to cost Rs. 52 crore was allotted to a private firm. Both these projects were to be executed in the same 55-acre (220,000 m2) plot which housed the memorial.
Upon the beginning of work at these gardens in January 2000, a petition by two non-profit organizations sought an immediate stoppage of construction activity at the gardens. They contended that regulations showed the area around the lake as a recreation zone which must be kept away from all constructions for commercial or residential purposes. Since they claimed that these proposed projects violated all these, they sought a public hearing and an environment impact assessment before allowing these projects to continue. Accordingly, the local apex court instructed the authorities to stop the construction until further orders.
A media report suggested that according to the 1980 HUDA Master Plan, the area where the NTR Gardens are located originally was a water body, but a gazetted notification in 1994 could allow such construction activities.
In 2001, the extensive work at 34 acres (140,000 m2) of gardens was completed at a cost of Rs. 40 crores. Besides a variety of plants, the gardens also house a souvenir complex, a visitors train, restaurants and a waterfall.
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Media related to NTR Gardens at Wikimedia Commons