Residential layout coming up in restricted area around monuments

Staff Correspondent
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Hasan Guljar's tomb and Ramalinga tank are protected monuments

Stone markers have been erected near the Ramalinga tank for construction of houses.
Stone markers have been erected near the Ramalinga tank for construction of houses.

The land around monuments on the outskirts of Bijapur is under threat with land sharks eyeing them now. A case in point is the vast stretch of land around Hasan Guljar's tomb near Ramalinga tank near Dargah jail here.

According to Arya Trust Honorary president H.G. Daddi, the Hasan Guljar's tomb and the Ramalinga tank are protected monuments and they have been listed as the 60th and the 74th monuments respectively on the ASI's list. As per the recent amendments to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, damaging or encroaching upon protected monuments and the land in 300 meter radius around them is a criminal offence which will attract fine of up to Rs. 2 lakh or jail term for three years or both. Unmindful of all these stringent laws adopted by the Union Government to protect valuable assets of the nation, some real estate businessmen are developing a residential layout in the prohibited area of the Hasan Guljar's tomb and the Ramalinga tank. They have already erected the stone markers and reportedly sold some plots to innocent buyers who do not know the consequences of buying plots in the illegally developed layouts in the protected area of the monuments, he added.

As per the heritage laws, buyers will not only lose their money but will also be subjected to punishment, if found guilty, he said.

The records available from the ASI clearly say that the dam of Ramalinga tank (including its two outlets, masonry water channels running at the right angles to the dam to the north and the adjoining gateway at the extreme east end) and the Hasan Guljar's tomb are the ASI's properties. The layout developers have not even spared the 100 meter prohibited area of the monuments. The stone markers have come up inside the prohibited area.

Already, half of the Ramalinga tank's bund has been destroyed. The plot marking stones are seen even on the tank's bund. Apart from this, the miscreants have shifted the ASI's board to some other place, probably to mislead the prospective site buyers, Mr. Daddi alleged.

He alleged that some of the local real estate developers in association with the businessmen from Kolhapur are developing the layout illegally in the protected area. It is really strange that though the government land worth crores of rupees is being gobbled up by the land mafia, the officials of the Bijapur Urban Development Authority and the Municipal Council have not taken any action. This gives ample scope for suspecting unholy nexus between the officials and the real estate developers. It is highly condemnable that the ASI officials are in deep slumber when its valuable assets are being looted.

Mr. Daddi urged the Deputy Commissioner to protect valuable government land, and take action against the guilty in the case.




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