HC seeks status report on land transfer for establishment of on-site museum at Adichanallur

Published - June 11, 2024 09:52 pm IST - MADURAI

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Thoothukudi Collector to file a report with regard to a request made by the Centre and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for transfer of land from the State for establishing a permanent on-site museum at Adichanallur.

A Division Bench of Justices R. Suresh Kumar and G. Arul Murugan also directed the Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Tiruchi Circle, to file a report with regard to the complaint made about the damage caused to the temporary museum at the site due to the heavy rain and floods in December, 2023. Further, the court sought a report on the present stage of excavation at Adichanallur and future plans for excavation there. The court directed that the report be filed in two weeks.

The court was hearing the public interest litigation petition filed by S. Kamaraj of Thoothukudi district, who sought a direction to the Centre and the ASI to carry out renovation and restoration works at the temporary on-site museum at Adichanallur. He said the temporary museum was affected during the floods, and sought a direction to the authorities to prevent any further damage and take necessary steps to establish a permanent on-site museum.

The Centre submitted that though there was heavy rain in Thoothukudi last year, there was no damage to the temporary museum at Adichanallur and it was opened to the public. With regard to the establishment of the permanent on-site museum, it said though there was land donation by third parties, a civil suit had been filed. No construction on a permanent basis could be made.

There were some lands belonging to the State available adjacent to the archaeological site. If the State came forward to give the lands for the purpose of establishment of the permanent on-site museum, that would enable the Centre and the ASI to establish the facility, it was submitted.

The State sought time to file a status report as to whether any government lands were available nearby and if there were lands to what extent they could be given for establishing a permanent museum at the site. The court posted the matter for further hearing to June 27.

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