Archaeology Dept to restore splendour of some monuments
THE STATE Archaeology Department is planning to start a few new projects to restore the splendour of archaeological monuments across the State and the good news is that the Directorate seems to have enough funds for the same.
For instance, it has plans to start light and sound programme at Indore, Bhopal, Burhanpur and Orchha, take some new monuments under its fold, begin large scale excavations, computerise archive records, set up archives research centre for scholars at Rajwada and National Museum in Bhopal and allow specific cultural programmes to be staged in Rajwada and Lalbag Palace. Besides, a more aesthetic display of Hingalajgarh idols will be made at Central Museum, Indore.
In addition, it is likely to fill posts of Deputy Director lying vacant at Indore, Jabalpur, Bhopal and Gwalior by holding a Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) meeting in the second week of February 2005. The Department has not held a DPC meeting after 1992. Out of six sanctioned posts of Deputy Director in the state, only one is occupied at present in Bhopal. Incidentally, its incumbent J P Jain has been ailing for long.
State Archaeology Director Pankaj Rag said the Department would hold talks with MP Tourism Corporation Limited next month to decide the venue and subject among other things for starting sound and light programme. “It will be a permanent feature,” Rag told Hindustan Times over phone. Denying the Department had received any proposal for converting Lalbag Palace into a heritage hotel, he said the focus was on completing construction of Palace’s boundary wall, replacing its tattered tapestry and developing gardens. “The Palace, otherwise, is in a pretty good shape to attract tourists,” he said and added that the Department was open to allow specific cultural programmes to be held in Lalbag and Rajwada under specific regulations. (He gave permission for a Santoor recital held at Lalbag Palace today).
The Department will protect about six monuments (mostly tombs) in Burhanpur (Indore division) and three in Bhopal city soon. Rag said that Burhanpur, which lies on route to Deccan, has some very important archaeological monuments that need protection. The Department has not protected any monument in the state after 1999.
The Department, which has not undertaken a major excavation work in past five years, will begin it by 2006. The Directorate, Rag said, would make special budgetary provisions for large-scale excavations in 2005-2006.
However, few issues are likely to remain unsolved despite the Department’s fresh moves. About 25 class III and IV contractual employees in Narmada Project cell of the Department are seeking confirmation of their service. Working for past 15 years, they alleged that some of the juniors have been confirmed overlooking rules. Likewise, over 30 daily wagers at Lalbag Palace have been staging protest for similar cause. Rag said there was a rule to confirm employees appointed before December 1988. He added the matter would be dealt with accordingly.