Times of India
Manish, TNN | Nov 29, 2014, 02.29PM IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: Raising objections to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study of the Visakhapatnam-Kakinada Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (VK-PCPIR), the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) coordinator for Buddhist sites in AP have filed an objection stating that the study has failed to mention the presence of a large number of archaeological sites in the notified PCPIR area.
Filing the objection with the APPCB member secretary, district collectors of Visakhapatnam and East Godavari and PCPIR development authority, Rani Sarma of Intach said there are 22 archaeological sites in the core area and 18 in the buffer zone of the PCPIR.
“Till the area under consideration for PCPIR is investigated for archaeological sites by the department of archaeology and sites are documented, notified, investigated and appropriately conserved, I have requested the PCPIR industrial activity to be kept on hold.” She said she has also requested that the public hearing be deferred since the EIA report is inaccurate and erroneous as it has made no mention of the archaeological sites in the area.
With no studies undertaken either by PCPIR development authority and the department of archaeology to ascertain the presence of archaeological sites in the area, Sarma said she along with a young engineer, Aditya Madhav, had carried out a year-long study in which they had identified 40 Buddhist sites in the region.
“With limited resources at our disposal we used the help of Google Maps and literature survey to physically examine each site in the region. We found that these sites exist and we have mapped them use geo-positioning technology,” Sarma told TOI. She said Veeralametta, one of the places in the PCPIR region, is almost as big as Thotlakonda in Vizag. Furthermore, she said another site in Amalapuram has steeped Stupas, which inspired the steeped stupas in Burma.
The PCPIR project is coming up over 603 square km spread from Visakhapatnam to Kakinada. The APPCB had recently issued a notification for conducting the environmental public hearing on December 18.