LUCKNOW || A 21-day lockdown in the city of Lucknow has proven to be a blessing in disguise, but not without that tinge of despair. The sudden collapse of the gate of the Sibtainabad Imambara, a structure situated on the MG Marg in Hazratganj has led to gloom for Lucknow history buffs.
This even though no major damage to life was reported. Several vehicles dotting the vicinity of the structure were damaged. On getting information about the collapse, Inspector Santosh Singh reached the spot along with some other person to take stock of the situation.
A building housing commercial shops like Marksmen and Lenskart, it saw the gateway coming crumbling down on Thursday, while the city remained under tight lockdown.
Having weathered extremes in different phases in the history of Lucknow, the Sibtainabad Imambara and its iconic arches for long remained a spectacle of neglect. An over a century-old structure it was in a dilapidated condition for the last couple of years. Despite warnings and calls for the structure to be restored and strengthened to avoid a calamity, the pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears.
Having faced the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the structure was first damaged in that era. Once home to a church, complex leases and tenancy rights left no room for the structure to be freed from its occupiers. The ASI later spruced up the structure with help from citizens. Despite efforts to free the space, the compound and gates remained encroached and neglected.
A highly congested zone in normal days, the area wore a deserted look as Lucknowites stayed inside their homes. The market was closed and the commercial shops were not operating. On a tipoff, the officials reached the spot and cordoned off the area. A detailed report will soon be filed which will highlight the main reason behind the collapse of this building.
Sibtainabad Imambara, a not so popular relic of the Nawabi era in Hazratganj came into being in 1847. Conceptualized by Amjad Ali Shah, the fourth King of Awadh, it saw completion under his son Wajid Ali Shah. Housing graves of Amjad Ali Shah, a brother and begum of Wajid Ali Shah it came to be known as “Maqbara.”
What the future holds for the structure no one is ready to predict now. Meanwhile it is noteworthy that in August 2018, the Narang building had collapsed in Hazratganj as well which grabbed major headlines.