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Updated: March 31, 2013 00:59 IST

Archaeology sites could lose ‘sight’ of security

Swathi. V
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The historic Golconda Fort sans security.- Photo: Nagara Gopal
The historic Golconda Fort sans security.- Photo: Nagara Gopal

With salary bills not cleared, the agency providing outsourced security is refusing to provide personnel to archaeology sites

Here is a piece of possible good news for thieves, vagabonds, sexual harassers and drunkards in the city. Starting from April 1, many tourist places here will be open for them day and night, with nobody to question or control their entry.

The sites under the custody of the Department of Archaeology could go unwatched from this April, as the agency providing outsourced security services is not inclined to continue its deal with the department anymore.

Bharati Security Force, which is providing security for all the archaeological sites in the city, is unwilling to continue its longstanding association with the government, as bills for salary payments have not been released for the past 11 months.

Budget cuts

“Our bills to the tune of Rs. 1.09 crore are pending with the Finance department, and we could not get them cleared despite many rounds to the secretariat. Directors keep changing for the Archaeology department every now and then, and it is not helping the matters in any way,” says Anji Reddy, service provider. He claims that no contractor who did any work for the department during the past one year has received his amount due.

He alleges budget cuts for the department as the reason for the same.

For a few months, Mr. Reddy had paid salaries for the security guards and supervisors from his own pocket, but could not continue doing it later.

“We have not been receiving our salaries since September last. Still, we are continuing in the hope of getting our services regularised some day. But I am now asked by our chief to lock the premises and hand the key over to the department officials on April 1,” said S. Narender, the sole security person guarding the Raymond’s Tomb in Asmangadh.

Mr. Reddy said that about 40 people are employed as security guards at various archaeological sites in the city, apart from many other housekeeping staff.

The same agency offers security services at the Quli Qutbshahi Tombs too, which is a major tourist attraction in the city.

The Archaeology department does not have a regular director as of now.

During the past one year, about eight directors have changed, with nobody seriously working to get the funds released, sources from the department said.

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