Archaeology conservationists angry at Vizag-Kakinada PCPIR report

visakhapatnam port industry pcpir_0Deccan Chronicle
DC CORRESPONDENT | November 23, 2014, 08.11 am IST

The PCPIR region will be covering 10 mandals across Vizag and East Godavari districts. Some of these 10 mandals have been identified as having archaeologically significant sites like the “stepped Buddhist stupas” which date back between second and

The PCPIR region will be covering 10 mandals across Vizag and East Godavari districts. Some of these 10 mandals have been identified as having archaeologically significant sites like the “stepped Buddhist stupas” which date back between second and fourth century AD.

Visakhapatnam: The Environment Impact Assessment report of the proposed Vizag-Kakinada Petroleum Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) project has left archaeology conservationists fuming.
The report, prepared by the Environmental Protection Training Research Institute (EPTRI), mentions that “No archaeological sites/protected monumen-ts/precincts of archaeological importance have been sighted within the boundary of the VK PCPIR.”

This has deeply upset the archaeology conservationists for, according to Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach), the PCPIR region has not one but many sites of archaeological importance.

Intach coordinator of Buddhist sites in Andhra Pradesh Rani Sarma legally challenged the EIA report by filing an RTI saying that the state government’s department of archaeology stated that the PCPIR authorities had so far not consulted them on the location of any archaeological sites and the areas surrounding them, which are to be protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendments & Validation) Act 2010.

It says that the PCPIR authority’s accepting the EIA report and carrying out construction in such archaeologically significant areas, becomes violation of the Act.

Sarma said, “The EIA report is far from truth. I will be challenging the report legally as many important Buddhist archaeological sites dot the area, some of which are even bigger than Thotlakonda. I was personally taken to some of these sites by an archaeology department official. Without consulting the archaeology department how can they come to a conclusion that there are no archaeological sites in the region.”

The PCPIR region will be covering 10 mandals across Vizag and East Godavari districts.

Some of these 10 mandals have been identified as having archaeologically significant sites like the “stepped Buddhist stupas” which date back between second and fourth century AD.

Such a stupa at Amalapuram in Nakkapalli mandal of Vizag is built atop four platforms and the one at Veeralametta near Payakaraopeta is built atop two platforms.

These are even thought to have inspired the architecture of world famous Borobudur stupa of Indonesia.

Other Buddhist sites in these mandals include Veeralametta, Seetamma Konda, Boobi Konda and Gudivadametta.

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