Guwahati, Thursday, December 07, 2017
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Official lapses throw dampener on monument preservation
STAFF REPORTER

A portion of the ancient structure. – Photo: Dr Satyakam Phukan
 GUWAHATI, Dec 6 - The entire process of acquiring, launching archaeological excavation and preserving the historical monuments on the Narakasur Hills in the city, which were discovered by a five-member team of archaeology enthusiasts led by city-based surgeon Dr Satyakam Phukan on February 19 this year, has been in limbo due to some lapses in the official procedures.Following the discovery and request from Dr Phukan, the archaeology directorate wrote to the Deputy Commissioner Kamrup (Metro) (Letter No ARCH 261/Kamrup/2017-18/165, dated 6/6/2017) requesting steps to hand over the physical possession of the said plot of land.

The Land Settlement Branch of the Deputy Commissioner’s office wrote (No KRS 371/2017/2171 (4) Dated 04/07/17) to the Circle Officer, Dispur revenue circle with a request to conduct a joint verification with the Survey and Land Records Department in this regard and to submit a report after completion of the joint verification.

But, since then no progress has been observed in this respect.

When contacted, officials of Dispur revenue circle office and archaeology directorate gave utterly confusing explanations.

Circle office sources claimed that some people from the archaeology directorate visited the circle office with a written request to hand over physical possession of the site. They were told by the circle office to visit the land records and survey authorities for determining the proper location of the site. But archaeology directorate sources denied sending anyone to the circle office in this connection.

It needs mention here that the team of archaeological enthusiasts found remnants of a huge brick wall along the crest of the Narakasur Hills, which is suggestive of some ancient fortification of the city. The wall covers a stretch of around two kilometres. The bricks of the ruins suggest that the wall was erected either in the pre-Ahom era or in the Ahom era itself. But what is needed to determine its time of construction, its exact size etc., is an archaeological excavation, said Dr Phukan.

He also maintained that if scientifically uncovered, this archaeological monument may emerge as one of the longest archaeological structures of the country.

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