Rs. 100 cr. to be allocated for those that are vulnerable, underdeveloped

The State government has set up a Rs. 100-crore fund for protection of monuments listed under the State Archaeological Department. These are separate from the monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Funds will be allocated to 128 of the 137 monuments classified as vulnerable or underdeveloped. The list includes forts, historic places, water bodies, gardens, temples, dargahs and mohallas. These structures will be saved from encroachments, strengthened, and their surroundings will be beautified by taking up landscaping or cleaning of water bodies, if any.

Sources in the office of Umashree, Minister for Kannada and Culture, who supervises the Department of Archaeology, confirmed this to The Hindu.

“Senior officials are reviewing the works on a case-by-case basis. A detailed order will be issued once the model code of conduct ends on May 18. Officials at divisional levels will be instructed to visit each work site and ensure that physical and fiscal targets are met within the scheduled deadlines,” a senior official said.

“We have initiated the process of conservation and protection of monuments across the State. The allocation has been made for the 13th Finance Plan period. Works on most monuments in the first phase have started. Some are nearing completion. Tenders will be issued for the second phase soon,” they said.

Apart from the revenue divisions of Mysore, Bangalore, Belgaum and Gulbarga, special focus is being laid on monuments in heritage cities and towns.

In Bidar, landscaping and maintenance of Sadat Spring Savai and Dargah of Hazrath Sayyid Us Sadat and conservation of Dargah of Hazrat Maqdumji Khadri and Khankha will be taken up.

In Gulbarga, apart from conserving the tomb of Sultan Muhamad Shah II Hasan Gangu Bhamani, works will be taken up in Langar Ki Masjid, tombs at Noor Bagh Bijapuri arch, Basaveshwar nagar Chor Gumbaz and Qulanadar Khan’s tomb.

Monuments in other heritage towns such as Bijapur, Kittur, Lokapur, Belagali, Mudhol, Khankhandaki, Kulloli, Kalgurki, Karjol Munavalli and Sirur will be protected.

Monuments in Biligiri Ranganatha Swamy temple in B.R. hills, St. Philomena Church of Mysore, Diwan Poornaiah’s bungalow in Yelandur, Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple in Halebid in Hassan will also receive funds.

Some works have already started. Division wise meetings of engineers, heritage officers and revenue department officials would be held in June to get feedback, a senior official said.

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