Film crews leave restored residence with scratches and scuffs

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Visitors to Koti Women’s College, the former residence building, are now amazed to see the tracks left by film crews dragging lights, tripods and other film props across the floor.

The building’s wooden flooring has been restored over the past few years, as has the compressed paper ceiling and Darbar’s main hall. The building has also been opened to visitors for filming web series and movies. According to sources, a Telugu filmmaker was recently penalized ₹5 lakh for plastering damage. The other damage is visible on the floor of the great Darbar Hall. Apart from this, the mosaic ceramic tiles also show signs of damage.

The filming of films and web series is seen as a source of income for the maintenance of the building. “But it is an income at what price? They get extra money if there’s damage, but that’s not reflected in the upkeep,” says one site visitor.

Miscellaneous waste thrown behind the building after filming.

Miscellaneous waste thrown behind the building after filming. | Photo credit: NAGARA GOPAL

To be fair, the residence staff are on their toes as they track the camera crew’s movements during shoots. The worst part of the deal is that the premises are off-limits to visitors on days the filmmakers hire him for shoots. Any break during a shoot sees a steady stream of junior artists rushing to relax in the surroundings, including the cemetery near the dilapidated Rang Mahal building.

“There are hundreds of other spots in the city for film shoots. Where shooting should be allowed from outside. The residence should be turned into a city memory museum,” says architect Sibghat Khan .

The residence building was only recently opened to visitors after its restoration. Visitors can book tickets online and show up to admire the architectural marvel built in the early 19th century. The upper floor of the building has been transformed into an exhibition that showcases the restoration effort and sketches the evolution of the building and the rise of British power in Nizam’s rule.

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