As many as four ancient monuments that were under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protection in the State have gone “missing”, according to a Comptroller and Auditor General report tabled in Parliament recently.
Following the revelation, the ASI will now “de-protect” three monuments dating back to pre-historic era since they have been lost. These are among the 92 monuments across the country that have been identified as “missing” in the performance audit placed on August 23.
While the rapid urbanisation witnessed in areas around the international airport at Devanahalli has been blamed for the loss of two iron age burial sites at Chikkajala and Doddajala, another pre-historic site at Kittur in Mysore district was submerged in the backwaters of the Kabini reservoir, sources in ASI Bangalore Circle, said.
The disappearance of Nandikesvara inscriptions in Bagalkot has, however, been disputed by the ASI. “The pre-historic sites at Chikkajala and Doddajala have been vandalised and destroyed due to urbanisation while the site at Kittur is submerged. We cannot say they are missing since the sites can still be located,” ASI sources said. “In fact, the CAG report mentions the site as Hejjala where there are no ASI protected monuments. We assume it is Doddajala,” the sources said. The sources, however, acknowledged that the sites “totally destroyed” are a significant loss.