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More Stuff: Illegal digging damages antique Hampi pots
Broken pieces of pots and stone structures were found inside the core zone of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Karnataka, after the Bellary administration deployed an earth-mover to dig up a trench as part of preparation for the three-day Hampi Utsav.

Illegal digging damages antique Hampi pots
An earthmover digs up a trench near the Fort Wall in Hampi
[Credit: Mail Online India]

The 200 metre-long and 3-feet deep trench near the Fort Wall and the Queen's Bath was dug by the PWD to lay a water pipeline for the Hampi Utsav.

When the earth removing machine started digging the trench, broken earthenware and other damaged articles came out on the surface.

In the past, gold coins and other articles have surfaced during planned archaeological exploration at the site.

Unsurprisingly the Archaeological Survey of India is upset with the news despite the Public Works Department having permission from the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority (HWHAMA) to dig the trench.

"The PWD has been asked to stop work immediately. We are writing to the HWHAMA for this grave violation. A police case will also be booked against all those responsible for this mess," Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Bangalore Circle, Dr M. Nambirajan said.

Illegal digging damages antique Hampi pots
Broken pieces of pots and stone structures were found at the site
[Credit: Mail Online India]

One of the most archaeologically sensitive areas at Hampi has been dug up by the PWD, Site Manager, Hampi site, ASI, N.P. Prakash Nagakanda, said.

"There is a scientific method to carry out any earth moving work in the sensitive area. They (PWD) have to write to the National Monuments Authority and seek permission. They have to inform and also seek the ASI's permission, which has not been done in the case," he said.

Last year in July, the PWD had demolished a structure, 'Dadapeer Chatra', situated three km from Hampi at the entrance to Kamlapur, to widen a road. The HWHAMA had then sought an explanation from the department.

Any monument in Hampi that is more than 100 years old cannot be demolished without the approval of HWHAMA, but the PWD had not bothered to take the mandatory approval.

Scheduled to begin on January 10 this year, the Hampi Utsav is a major attraction with tourists.

Classical dance performances, music concerts, contemporary arts, and film festivals are held as part of the Karnataka government organised event.

Author: Vanu Dev | Source: Mail Online India [January 06, 2014]

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