Digging right next to Golconda Fort wall

Golconda: The Golconda Fort is again in the news for all the wrong reasons. After the custodians, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Hyderabad Circle, themselves dug a pit of 1,000 to 1,500 s.ft at the topmost structure next to the Bala Hisar Baradari earlier this year, digging adjacent to the fortification wall from Shah Hatam Talab bridge to Moti Darwaza moat for constructing a nala is underway.

Senior GHMC officials on condition of anonymity say that the work is being undertaken to stop the polluted water getting into the fort and flooding Naya Qila. The work is to divert water from the moat to Langar Houz.

ASI Superintending Archeologist Milan Kumar Chauley of Hyderabad Circle objected to the works. When contacted, Mr Milan said that he did not receive information from the civic body.

The work is being undertaken at a cost of Rs 5 crore.

P Anuradha Reddy, convenor, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Hyderabad Chapter said, "This is a violation of the AMASR Act. Unmindful digging will only make the case for World Heritage Site status weak which we have been trying for years."

The Lok Sabha had passed the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill 2017 that allows government to take up infrastructure projects within the 100 metres prohibited periphery around protected monuments.

Md Afzal, convenor, Association for Protection of Civil Rights Telangana & AP, said, "The digging is close to the fortification wall and does not augur well keeping in mind the Golconda Fort."

Meanwhile, officials at the GHMC say that the work would only help in keeping the fort clean and stop polluted water being let into the Naya Qila.

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