Past blocks road to future
A 3,000-YEAR-OLD ?ghost? has blocked the 21st century East-West Corridor on the National Highway-25! The ?ghost? here is the remains of an ancient civilisation in Jajmau mounds that fall exactly in the way of the under-construction 4-lane Lucknow-Kanpur Highway. This highway forms the part of the East-West Corridor connecting Porbandar (Gujarat) with Silchar in the North-East.Updated: Feb 01, 2006 01:35 IST
A 3,000-YEAR-OLD ‘ghost’ has blocked the 21st century East-West Corridor on the National Highway-25!
The ‘ghost’ here is the remains of an ancient civilisation in Jajmau mounds that fall exactly in the way of the under-construction 4-lane Lucknow-Kanpur Highway. This highway forms the part of the East-West Corridor connecting Porbandar (Gujarat) with Silchar in the North-East.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is requesting the State Archeology Directorate (SAD) to let the mounds give way to the highway, but the latter says “how can a civilisation treasure be trampled like this?”.
This has ‘scared’ the NHAI, which might have to divert the highway if the archaeological directorate officials stick to their guns. “After removing the mounds, we plan to construct a four- lane bridge over the Ganga to streamline the movement of traffic. If we don’t do so the present bridge will become a bottleneck and lead to traffic jams. This will defeat the very purpose of the express highway,” a NHAI official said. The completion of the highway will pave the way for progress and prosperity of the country, NHAI officials said. NHAI Project Director AK Gupta has submitted an application with the Archeology Director seeking permission to remove the mounds.
But the directorate officials said remains of an ancient civilisation were buried under the Jajmau mounds. “If we permit a highway to run over the mounds, the treasure will be lost forever,”? they said. SAD Director Dr Rakesh Tewari said a portion of the mounds was excavated while constructing the present highway in the early seventies. Fine pieces of painted grey and northern black polished wares, along with a dozen heavily patinated copper coins were collected from the site.
Later SAD, under the direction of RC Singh, assisted by Hem Raj, resumed excavation with a view to obtain the cultural sequence of the site. The excavation revealed three cultural periods. Period One represented the occurrence of 2,700-year-old northern black polished ware and structures of baked and sun dried bricks. Terracotta, sealing, animal figurines, sling balls, discs, beads, fragmentary rings, arrow and spearheads of iron were found.
Period Two represented remains of a structure of baked bricks. Period Three is marked by the occurrence of knife-edged bowls, ring-based vessels etc.
Meanwhile, Dr Tewari said the SAD is studying the request of the NHAI.
First Published: Feb 01, 2006 01:34 IST