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Cash starved AP govt splurges on beautification

Cash starved AP govt splurges on beautification
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Cash starved AP govt splurges on beautification. The cash-strapped Andhra Pradesh government has been shelling down crores of rupees in renovating and giving facelift to the offices of the Ministers and senior bureaucrats in the State secretariat.

When it comes to allotment of budget for protection of heritage sites, it turns miser

Hyderabad: The cash-strapped Andhra Pradesh government has been shelling down crores of rupees in renovating and giving facelift to the offices of the Ministers and senior bureaucrats in the State secretariat. But, when it comes to taking care of about 277- and-odd site of cultural and historical significance in the State, it has turned a miser.

According to official sources, there are in all 600-and-odd sites of cultural and historical importance in the united Andhra Pradesh. Post bifurcation, the state has got around 277-sites spread across 13 districts. The historical significance of these sites dates back to second century BC.

And, “after assuming to power, none other than Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu vowed to rejuvenate the cultural heritage of the State. As part of this, the government had announced to establish Kuchipudi Academy in Krishna District at a cost of Rs 100 crore.”

But, when it came to several heritage sites and monuments, the government is not walking the talk; a senior official from the culture department expressed his anguish over lack luster attitude of the government. According to officials, sites like the pre-historic Neolithic rock paintings in red ochre over natural caverns at Kethavaram are badly in need of immediate attention.

Lack of security and protection the paintings and writings in Brahmi script are disappearing because of exposure to sun and rains over years. Similarly, Buddhist site at Munjuluru village in Bantumilli Mandal, and Mud Fort in Kanukallu in Mandavalli mandal in Krishna district have been neglected. This is also the case with the Rock Cut Caves in Sitanagaram, and another famous temple in Tangeda in Guntur district, where the only traces of original monuments were

discernible, the official pointed out. Attention is also needed in case of in case of Kundurpi Fort in Anantapur, another ancient fort in Nossam, and ruins of Gopalaraja Palace in Kurnool town. But, the government had allocated only Rs 30 lakh during the current financial year. It meant that on an average each of the heritage and monument site in the State under the Archeology Department got only around Rs 10,830 or a little more.

On the top of it, the department had to meet staff salaries, exploration, excavation, protection, conservation and restoration of the historical wealth of the State within this allocation. Or, will have to depend on the funds coming from the Centre.

But, in contract to this, for a temporary abode of the State, the government had reportedly spent around Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore in giving facelift to the Chief Minister’s Camp Office at Lakeview Guest House, and J, L and H blocks in the State secretariat.

Almost all the offices of the ministers and senior bureaucrat in the secretariat have got a new look spending public money. But, when it comes to keeping up Telugu pride, it shows empty hands, rued another official from the State museums department.

By VRC Phaniharan

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