Push to save heritage – The Telegraph

Push to save heritage

Gautam Sarkar

Bhagalpur: People interested in history and archaeology in this region known as Anga Pradesh have expressed concern over the destruction of historical edifices and archaeological remains in the name of development.

Amrendra, an Angika scholar, has started campaigning on social media after failing to get a response from the Banka administration on conservation of the valuable items.

“Promoting tourism through a ropeway project has been initiated at Mandar hills in Banka’s Bounsi block. The site has religious and historical significance and it is good to promote tourism but you cannot destroy valuable hill-cut inscriptions,” he said stressing how rock-cut sculptures are being destroyed.

According to him, near the building of Safa sects at Papharani pond located afoot Mandar hills, a big stone structure with rock-cut inscriptions and other rock-cut sculptures have been destroyed for constructing the pillars of the proposed ropeway. “These historical edifices are rare treasures for the country. But since the people dealing with the projects do not know its value, they are destroying it. The local administration has also remained mute spectators,” he added.

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Raman Sinha, professor in ancient history at Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University, blamed the attitude of the state government. Shiv Shanker Singh Parijat, a retired deputy director-rank official at the state’s public relations department, and a historian alleged that the centuries-old rock sculptures on the hills of Ajgayibeenath Temple at Sultanganj are being destroyed as construction of the extension of community hall has been started by a local temple. A complaint has been sent to deputy inspector-general of police (DIG), Bhagalpur zone, Vikash Vaibhav and Bhagalpur senior superintendent of police Manoj Kumar. “Nothing has been done,” said Parijat.

“We don’t have any formal complaint, so we cannot take action against such constructions? The department of the state archaeology should come forward,” said a Sultanganj police.

Arabindo Singha Roy, an archaeologist who conducted intensive survey on behalf of the state archaeological department and managed to identify 201 sites dating back to 500BC in Bhagalpur and its surrounding areas, expressed fear about the possible destruction to heritage structures in Sultanganj because of construction of a bridge across the Ganga. “It is shocking that no conservation measures have been initiated.”

Banka district magistrate Kundan Kumar was not available and his official mobile phone was switched off.

(https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/bihar/push-to-save-heritage-186291)