ASI is not digging for gold, says culture minister

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 29, 2013 02:30 IST

Culture minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch has categorically said that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was not after finding gold at Daundiya Kheda village in Unnao district but was simply trying to explore the historical importance of the area.

“It is wrong and misleading to say that we started the excavation work after the so called dream of a hidden treasure. We got an indication by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) that there was a metallic alloy buried but so far we are yet to find a metallic surface,” she told HT adding: “I plan to visit the site after Bhai Dooj.”

Denying that she had got any letter for carrying out excavations at two more sites where the sadhu Shobhan Sarkar has dreamt of 4,000 tonnes of gold being buried she said: “I am not into any kind of dream business. If someone comes and tells me tomorrow that I had a dream that some treasure was buried at a place, why will I agree to start an excavation. If there are gold mines at a place then the mining department should be told. However, if someone has a map of that area, it can be very helpful to us.”

Chandresh Kumari Katoch said that they have a planned programme for excavations every year, which starts on October 1 and continues till the monsoon.

“Daundiya Kheda was in our list for excavations because of its historical relevance. The excavation was not triggered because of some dream. In fact, we have just got a letter from a Bihar MP mentioning some historical discovery in a hamlet in Bhagalpur district. I can get this reviewed and take up the excavation there next year.”

On the restoration work being done at Kedarnath Chandresh Katoch said: “I am satisfied with the repair work. We have repaired the doors and the walls. But we have not yet started the carving since the work has to be stopped after Diwali because of weather conditions.”.

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