Published On : Mon, Feb 24th, 2014

Archaeological Survey of India opens circle office in Nagpur

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Nagpur News : While speaking to the media, Director of Excavations & Explorations, ASI, New Delhi Haji Dr Sayyad Jamal Hasan said that they have a lot of projects and would like to function even better but shortage of staff prevents them from doing so. They do not have enough staff to man various museums.

The Archaeological Survey of India has finally opened circle office in Nagpur on February 24, 2014. The inauguration of the new building constructed in Seminary Hills was inaugurated by MP Vilasrao Muttemwar in the presence of Director of Excavations & Explorations, ASI, New Delhi Haji Dr Sayyad Jamal Hasan and Retired Director of ASI, New Delhi Dr. G.T Shende.

Central Government through the Ministry of Culture controls all archeological activities in the country. It is custodian of all monuments of within the country, responsible for their conservation and preservation. In order to ensure better preservation and maintainance, the centrally protected monuments in Vidarbha region, Central government has created a new circle office with its head quarter in Nagpur.

The office will be called Nagpur Circle of MI, headed by Superintending Archaeologist, T I Alone. The office will be supported by other archeologists, engineers, other experts, technical and ministerial staff and have the responsibility to take up exploration of new monuments and conservation, preservation and maintenance of 94 centrally identified and protected monuments in Vidarbha.

DSC_0479Alone while addressing the media informed that they will undertake campaigns to sensitize people, particularly young people about our cultural heritage. Focus of Nagpur circle office will be maintaining and restoring the monuments of Vidarbha and better presenting them to public, which will ultimately help in boosting tourism potential of the region. We want to bring Vidarbha on the world tourist map”.

He added that the government has recognized the tremendous potential of various heritage sites available in Vidarbha and is committed to develop them in best possible way to enrich the experience of tourist visiting the site. He said that ASI will take up comprehensive conservation of ancient sites at Mansar, temples of Markanda, Gavilgarh Fort in Amravati district, Temples in Lonar and other monuments.

MP Vilas Muttemwar said that previously more than 150 monuments were administered by Aurangabad circle, now with establishment of Nagpur circle office more emphasis can be given to this region. Muttemwar added that ASI reveals to the world the hidden past. Some of the past is known while some are hidden. Muttemwar expressed his gratitude to Minister of Culture Maharani Chandresh Kumari Katoch for expediting the process in starting the Nagpur Circle office.

He went to say that Vidarbha has everything available. Even in the crops, everything is grown here except Alphonso mangoes.

He also told, how with his efforts, the Zero Mile stone and the accompanying area is going to be beautified soon. Even the proposal has been okayed and they are soon going to start work on it. He said that this Zero Mile Stone was once used by the Britishers to calculate the distances. Of course, when the stone was laid down, it was an Unified India which had Burma (modern day Myanmar) on the north and Lahore and Sindh (Now in Pakisthan) in the East.

Director Excavations & Explorations, MI, New Delhi Haji Dr Sayyad Jamal Hassan informed that Nagpur is endowed with many monuments of national importance and ASI will work to maintain them.

Retired Director of ASI, New Delhi Dr. G.T Shende congratulated the ASI on creation of new circle in Nagpur and wished that they maintain the legacy of ASI in archeological activities.

Assistant Director, Maharashtra State Archeology department Madhukar Kathane, H.O.D of Ancient History Department N.U Preeti Trivedi, Reader, N.U Dr Pradeep Meshram, Superintending Archeologist, Excavation Branch MI Dr Nandini Bhattacharya, Director In-charge of Epigraphy (Arabic and Persian) G S Kwaja, Nikose, Head of Pre History MI and staff of ASI were prominently present on the occasion.

While speaking to the media, Director Excavations & Explorations Haji Dr Sayyad Jamal Hassan said that one of the major project that they are involved in is in Gujarat which has finding of Indus and Harappan civilization.

Excavation Branch MI Dr Nandini Bhattacharya while answering to a question said that they still use age old Carbon 14 Dating as well as newer Optical Simulated Lumination (OSL) Dating systems to find the exact time or period of a particular excavated human or animal part.