Telangana

Jodeghat Museum closed for over a month

The Kumram Bheem Memorial Tribal Museum at Jodeghat.

The Kumram Bheem Memorial Tribal Museum at Jodeghat.   | Photo Credit: S. Harpal Singh

Staff leave after heated argument with villagers

The Kumram Bheem Memorial Tribal Museum at the historic Jodeghat village in Kerameri mandal of Kumram Bheem (KB) Asifabad district has remained closed for over a month now inconveniencing the visitors who arrive here everyday. The reason for the closure of the museum is a dispute between Jodeghat villagers and the museum staff over allocation of land for construction of cremation ground and a dumping yard in the village.

In the first week of January, a section of villagers identified a piece of land belonging to the museum for construction of cremation ground. The museum, led by its Assistant Curator Mangam Visham Rao, objected to it which led to arguments.

As the staff insisted on the facilities not coming up on the museum premises the villagers insisted on having their way and allegedly threatened them with dire consequences right in front of officials, including KB Asifabad RDO Pendur Dattu. Following the exchange of words the staff — the Assistant Curator, attender-cum-watchman Kumram Bande Rao and a sweeper — left the place.

No entry

The museum has been locked ever since and the keys to it are with the local school authorities. Visitors are generally being denied a visit unless someone from the school finds time to show them around which is little unlikely.

The issue was brought to the notice of then KB Asifabad Collector Rajeevgandhi Hanumanthu and Project Officer of Utnoor Integrated Tribal Development Agency S. Krishna Aditya. They, nevertheless, were transferred before the issue was resolved.

Disappointed visitors

“It is high time authorities address the problem. It is not good that hundreds of visitors who come from far away places are turned away without a look into the past,” lamented Gedam Mahesh from Kinwat town in Nanded district of Maharashtra who could not visit the museum on February 22 as there was no one to guide him.

There is also the issue of the museum staff not being paid their salaries since the month of May last year though they have represented the matter to appropriate authorities. The Assistant Curator is paid ₹ 20,000 per month while the attender is paid ₹ 8,000 per month and the sweeper is paid ₹ 3,000 per month.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:48:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/jodeghat-museum-closed-for-over-a-month/article30895661.ece

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