Saturday, May 23, 2009

Illegal constructions around Sher Shah tomb

PATNA: Several constructions, including Bihar government's teachers training college, have come up in the restricted zone around the mausoleum of
Sher Shah at Sasaram in blatant violation of the Archaeological Monuments Special Repair Act, 1992. The illegal constructions have taken place in the centrally-protected area of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Incidentally, the area falling in the radius of 100 metres of the monument has been declared the restricted zone.

Two private school buildings have also come up in recent years in the restricted area. These include Duttatreya Public School (on the north-east corner of the mausoleum) and Chaukhandi High School (on the north).

These are just a few examples of illegal constructions in the protected area. More than 200 such structures have come up in recent times.

In a recent communication to the Rohtas DM and SP, the acting superintending archaeologist, ASI, Patna circle, N G Nikose, made a fresh request to them to stop and remove illegal construction in the protected zone.

Nikose said such requests had been made to the district administration on several occasions earlier too. "Despite numerous reminders to district officials concerned, nothing concrete has been done by the administration so far," said an ASI official. Incidentally, ASI has already issued notices to those responsible for illegal structures in the protected area. On several occasions, local goons even threatened ASI officials of dire consequences for this.

Incidentally, ASI has been raising the issue since 1990. All former superintendent archaeologists of ASI -- Mohammed K K, Urmila Sant and P K Mishra -- raised this issue right from the Rajbbhavan to the DM level.

Sher Shah's mausoleum is undoubtedly the finest mediaeval tomb architecture in the Indian sub-continent. "Efforts have been made to get this monument listed in UNESCO's list of world heritage sites, but it cannot not find an entry there unless the illegal constructions are removed," said an official.

Source : Times of India