Wednesday, January 23, 2019

ASI uses just 7% of funds granted for restoration in Hyderabad Karnataka

The Bahmani tombs of Ashtur (top) is among the three sites where renovation has been taken up. | Photo Credit: T. GOPICHAND

Though the Ministry of Culture had allocated huge amounts through the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to protect and restore ancient monuments and sites in the Hyderabad Karnataka region in 2017-18, the ASI spent only 7% of the released funds.

According to documents provided by K.M. Mujeebuddin, an RTI activist, the ASI has spent only ₹39.6 lakh of the ₹5.88 crore funds released for the maintenance of heritage monuments coming under Dharwad Circle.

Mr. Mujeebuddin told The Hindu that 16 historical sites in the five districts coming under the region — Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Koppal, and Raichur — were declared as Centrally protected monuments in Dharwad Circle.

Though most of these monuments are in a dilapidated state, renovation works have been taken up only at three sites — the Bahmani tombs of Ashtur, the madrasa of Mahmud Gawan, and Bidar Fort. So far, an amount of ₹39,60,420 has been spent.

The ASI has failed to take up renovation work at Kalaburagi fort (Bahmani Fort), the Jama Masjid on the fort premises, and the famous Hafth Gumbad (Seven Tombs) of Firoz Shah.

Mr. Mujeebuddin said the ancient excavated site with remains of Buddhist stupa at Kanaganahalli in Chittapur taluk of Kalaburagi, which dates back to between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, was crying for attention. The ASI would have utilised funds to develop the Budhist Mahastupa site, he said.

The department has also neglected to protect the prehistoric sites at Vibhuthihalli and Rajankallur in Yadgir district. Three other prehistoric sites in Koppal — the Mahadev temple in Ittagi village, the ancient mound and Hire Benakal sites, and the rock edicts of Ashoka on the two hillocks — were neglected. “Successive governments and representatives of the region have failed to protect the structures. If the ASI fails to utilise the funds fully, it will go back to the government coffers,” Mr. Mujeebuddin said.


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