The 16th century monument the Charminar, named for its four minarets, is pictured in the old city in central Hyderabad.Reuters

The historic Charminar in Hyderabad may be razed if it is found to be weak, the Telangana government has said, sparking a controversy. 

Telangana deputy chief minister Mahmood Ali raked up a controversy when he said that old buildings such as the Charminar must be razed if they become weak and dilapidated. 

However, Ali's remark on the iconic Charminar seems to have been made as part of an example to defend the Telangana government's decision to rebuild the 90-year-old Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad.

"We will make 10-15 storey hospital...and it will be able to cater 10 times the number of patients it does now. It will have the same name (OGH).... When a building becomes weak, if Charminar becomes weak, in 200 years, 400 years or 500 years, it will have to be razed too. If a building becomes weak, it can fall any time and claim many lives," the Telangana deputy CM said on Sunday, according to the Press Trust of India.

Charminar, a 16th century monument, is a major landmark in Hyderabad.

On Monday, Ali clarified his statement when questioned about the controversial remark. 

"Charminar is our 'pehchan' (identity). We will strive to strengthen it. I was speaking in a general sense that after 1,000 years (we have to think about it)," he told PTI. 

Hyderabad, which will be the shared capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana -- the 29th state that was formed last year -- for ten years, will belong to the latter after 2024.