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3541Centre, state blamed for failure to save temples

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  • chandwani01
    Dec 20, 2011
      Centre, state blamed for failure to save temples
      Kuldeep Chauhan
      Tribune News Service

      Bilaspur, December 19
      Over three main temples and 20 other smaller temples of the rare Nagara style of architecture, submerged in the Gobind Sagar reservoir since 1964, have virtually died their natural death due to a protracted blame game between the state government and Centre over their restoration.

      The archaeologists have blamed the apathetic state and Centre's archaeological establishments for the doom of the temples in water.

      None showed interest to fund this multi-crore restoration and transplant project in order to save these temples well in time, they lamented.

      "It is now too late to be talking about transplanting the temples," said state renowned archaeologist Dr OC Handa. "It will be now appeasing people for the sake of votes as the temples have been rendered shaky by corrosion and cannot be transplanted," he asserted.

      It took the state government and the Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) 15 years to make a proposal of restoring these temples, but nothing concrete has emerged on the matter so far, said archaeologists.

      The temples have drastically corroded their art forms, art relics etched on them over the years due to the silt menace in the Gobind Sagar. Even a team of marine wing of the Geological Survey of India has found that the temples are in bad shape and transplanting them may be a very difficult exercise, said Dr Handa. "The temples may fall apart during the transplant and nobody now is willing to touch them," he said.

      There are over 12-30 temples submerged in the Gobind Sagar since 1964 when the Bhakhra Beas Management Board (BBMB) constructed this reservoir by linking waters of the Beas and Sutlej. Over a dozen temples resurface when the water level of the Gobind Sagar recedes during summers. The temples are over 300 to 800 years old and are built in the Nagara style of architecture during the reins of the erstwhile kings of the former Bilaspur.

      The district administration claimed that a geological wing inspected land one at Lunu ground and another near the Gopal temple, the report is still awaited," said Sandeep Kadam, SDM-cum-coordinator of the project.

      Kadam said former queen of Bilaspur has also expressed her desire to protect the monument. "She is keen to donate land for the temples here but the land has not been transferred so far," he added.