Hucheshwara Temple in Halebidu suffers damage

February 14, 2021 01:07 pm | Updated February 15, 2021 12:00 am IST - Hassan

The structure of the Hoysala period Hucheshwara temple at Halebid suffered damage after plants and shrubs grown around the structure were put on fire.

Workers hired by the local office of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to clear the vegetation set the plants ablaze on Friday, ignoring the guidelines meant for clearing the vegetation around a protected monument.

The temple located close to Hoysaleshwara temple is more than 900 years old. Following the incident, the structure’s surface has turned dark. Local people have expressed anger over the incident and blamed the negligence of ASI officers for the damage.

When The Hindu contacted Conservation Assistant at Halebid Kishor Kumar Reddy, he said some workers committed the mistake while clearing the vegetation. “It is a small issue, nothing serious. There is no serious damage to the temple structure,” he said.

Hucheshwara temple.

Hucheshwara temple.

When reporters reached the spot on Sunday morning, they were not allowed to get inside the complex. Nobody was allowed to take pictures of the structure on Sunday. It is said the officers tried to clean up the area with the help of workers.

An officer of the ASI told The Hindu that clearance of vegetation in any monument had to be done systematically. “The officer concerned has to take permission from the department and take up the work as per the norms. Workers have to clear the plants, if any, manually, without using machines. And, there is no provision to set ablaze the green waste,” he said.

Superintendent Archaeologist Shivakant Bajpai and other senior officers visited the spot on Sunday. The office of the Director- General of the ASI is said to have collected information about the incident from local officers.

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