August 20, 2015 05:56 IST
Pouring cold water on the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation’s plan to install pillars of structures belonging to the Buddhist era at vantage points in the city, the Department of Archaeology and Museums has ruled out the possibility of handing over the stone relics to the VMC.
Antique monuments are meant to be preserved for future generations and not for display in open spaces, say senior officials of the Museums Department. “Moreover, rules do not permit us to hand over the relics to other government agencies,” they maintain.
A few weeks ago, the VMC Commissioner G. G. Veerapandian inspected Victoria Jubilee Museum and examined the Buddhist era pillars. He asked the officials to take necessary steps for installation of the pillars at important places with prior permission of the Museums Department. The move aims at adding attraction to the city, assert the municipal officials.
According to the Museums’ authorities, a couple of 3-feet high pillars belonging to third century A.D. were recovered while carrying out excavation works by the officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Alluru in Krishna district.
Another pillar was handed over to the Department by residents of Reddygudem mandal in the district. They discovered it while carrying out de-silting works in a lake in the village.
Five more Buddhists era pillars that were found in Pangidi village in Mylavaram are preserved at the museum. Made of limestone, the pillars contain Buddhist inscriptions, according to Assistant Director of Archaeology and Museums Department S. Bangaraiah.
“As of now, we have not received any requisition from the Corporation. If we get a letter, we will forward it to the head office in Hyderabad for perusal,” he explained.
Another official said the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation lacks mechanism to maintain historic structures after placing them at vantage points. “There should be proper shelter to protect these monuments during summer and monsoon seasons,” the official argued.
Senior officials of the department say antique monuments are meant to be preserved for future generations and not for display in open spaces