Archaeological Survey of India remains indifferent even as monuments of national importance get hemmed in

Either its sensory perceptions have gone kaput or it plays to perfection the three wise monkeys theme — see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. That seems to be the guiding principle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) these days. Even as monuments of national importance get hemmed in, it remains oblivious, nay content, that all is right with the world.

City’s most famous icon Charminar gets a short shrift from all quarters, but the ASI abides by the pictorial maxim of not acknowledging impropriety. The entire city is shocked to learn that the Charminar police station has violated the heritage precincts rules by raising a compound wall, but ASI is blissfully unaware. Its conservation assistant Kutumba Rao doesn’t care to stop the violations taking place right under his nose.

“I have pulled up the official and called for a report,” is all that R. Krishnaiah, ASI superintending archaeologist has to say.

“I have been away from the city and don’t know what is happening,” he hastens to add.

“It seems there was a compound wall earlier and it is being repaired. But no permission is taken and the work will be stopped immediately,” Mr. Krishnaiah assures. He also finds fault with the GHMC for carrying out the Charminar Pedestrianisation Programme on the Sardar Mahal road without taking any formal approval from the ASI. “I am afraid somebody might go to the court and the whole thing gets derailed,” he says.

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