T. Ramakrishnan

Reconnaisance survey among measures planned

CHENNAI: Poompuhar, the epic-fame "lost port city" of Tamils, can get back its life. Already, the outlines of some remains of the ancient city have been identified by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) in its side scan survey in the last two years. The NIOT has planned some more activities including reconnaissance survey.

These efforts will receive a fillip with the State Archaeology department deciding to revive the project of identifying the old city. In the 1960s and 1980s, the department carried out underwater archaeological work off the coast near the present Poompuhar. Using the recent technological advancements, the work can be revived in such a way that what remains unknown can be unearthed, says T. S. Sridhar, Special Commissioner of the Archaeology Department. "We will associate ourselves with various agencies involved in seashore explorations such as Coast Guard, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Navy and the NIOT," he notes.

A preliminary discussion with experts was held on June 14. After some more rounds of discussions, a project can be formulated and it will be posed to the Government for approval. "This project requires support, both technically and financially," Mr. Sridhar told a gathering of scholars and archaeologists here on Tuesday. The proposed study could cover socio-political-economic activities carried on in the olden days.

Delivering a talk on undersea exploration off Poompuhar coast, B. Sasisekaran, scientist at the NIOT, said the scan survey found some structural and elongated features. The remains were found at a distance of two km from the shore and at a depth of 14 metres to 20 metres.

Another scientist of the NIOT, R. Venkatesan, said his organisation was also working on drug development, using marine resources as the main input.