AP govt told not to permit construction at Buddhist archaeological site

1370_high_courtTHE HANS INDIA | Nov 30,2016 , 03:42 AM IST

A two-judge PIL bench of the High Court at Hyderabad comprising acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Shanker Narayan on Tuesday directed the government of AP not to permit any construction at the Buddhist archaeological site at Tothlakonda near Visakhapatnam.

The bench made the interim order on a PIL filed by Prof Thimma Reddy and others. The petitioners challenged the action of the government in allotting its land in favour of Filmnagar Cultural Centre.

The petitioners pointed out that the land was part of Archaeology Site, Buddhist Complex, popularly known as Thotlakonda.

The petitioners alleged that the alienation was in violation of GOMS 571 which dealt with alienation of lands of government and also provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Ancient and Historical Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1960,.

The petitioners contended that this would destroy the archaeological site. It was further contended that the notified zone of archaeology site has to be protected as there are many potential archaeological elements/features that exist all around the presently excavated site within erstwhile S.No. 314 and further excavations and studies are necessary.

The fact of a comprehensive study by Dr Fogelin, a well-known scholar and the author of the book “ Archaeology of Early Buddhism,” based on his research on Thotlakonda, (on the Buddhist site of Thotlakonda) was acknowledged and taken note by the Archaeology Department.

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