The Daily Star
December 01, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 01, 2016
The protected archaeological site of Naoda Buruj in Gomostapur upazila under the district is getting encroached by illegal occupiers, thanks to the negligence of the authorities responsible for its maintenance and preservation.
Over fifty poor families from different areas have built houses at the site and people often dig soil and collect bricks from there, locals alleged.
The building, also locally known as Sar Buruj, now resembles a mound and there is a signboard set by the Department of Archaeology.
During a recent visit, this correspondent found a woman using the top of the mound for drying paddy while two antique black stones were seen lying on the soil.
Earlier on different times, locals found some antiques from the area and after being informed, officials of the archaeology department collected those from them, they said.
Mohammad Mojnu, a carpenter, said he built a house at the site and started living there with his family as he is a poor landless man.
Rice mill worker Razia Sultana and truck driver Johurul Islam are also among over 50 poor families who built houses around Naoda Buruj.
Atikur Rahman, teacher of Yousuf Ali College in Rohanpur, said the Department of Archaeology hung a signboard but they have hardly taken any initiative to preserve the site.
Some one kilometre from Naoda Buruj, there is another archaeological site of Rohanpur Octagonal Tomb, a Muslim architecture, at Gombujpara in Gomostapur upazila. It is decorated with exquisite terracotta plaques, although the designs have faded in course of time.
There is only one guard to look after the two sites, said officials of the archaeology department.
Nahid Sultana, regional director of the Department of Archaeology, Bogra, said, “The mound of Naoda Buruj seems to be the ruins of a Buddhist temple. We have taken a project for an excavation work that will start early next year.”
The department has urged the local administration to remove the illegally built houses and other structures from the site, but in vain, she said.