Protected site at Hasmathpet is considered to be unique
HYDERABAD: Officials of the Department of Archaeology and Museums have begun clearing the encroachments at a protected site in Hasmathpet containing a cluster of protected megalithic burial sites dating back to second century B.C. The drive which began on Monday, with over 10 encroachments demolished, threw light on the utter lack of coordination between the Revenue and Archaeology departments.
Discovered in the early 19th century by British historian Colonel Meadows Taylor, the burial site, spread over 30 acres is considered to be unique. The site was declared protected in 1953 and was handed over to the Department of Archaeology and Museums, its director P. Chenna Reddy, informed.
“These encroachments are violating the A.P. Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains Act 1960 and in coming days the protected area will be cleared of all the other encroachments,” said Mr. Reddy.
In 2000, the Mandal Revenue Officer (MRO), Balanagar had passed orders in which over 64 acres of land was allotted to various societies including the protected land in Hasmathpet. “In 2002, our attempts to build a wall to protect the area was stalled when a case was filed by societies such as Railway Co-operative society and other societies,” he said.
However, the present MRO Vanaja Devi said the Revenue Department was regularly demolishing any structures that were coming up around the marked Full Tank Level (FTL). “We have been told that these are patta lands and so they don’t fall under our purview and if the land belongs to the Department of Archaeology and Museums, then it is up to them to protect it and not ours,” she said. If any construction had come without the permission of higher authorities like HMDA or GHMC then the Revenue Department would step in to remove them.