High Court seeks re­port on ex­ca­va­tions at 24 sites in TN

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CHEN­NAI: The Madras High Court sought re­port on the 24 ex­ca­va­tion sites in Tamil Nadu and also di­rected the State Ar­chae­ol­ogy Depart­ment to sub­mit a re­port on the GPRS scan us­ing radars in and around the lingam in Uday­alur vil­lage, said to be the place where King Raja Raja Chola was buried.

Hear­ing a batch of writ pe­ti­tions re­lat­ing to ex­ca­va­tions be­ing done in the State, a divi­sion bench com­pris­ing Jus­tice N Kirubakara­n and Jus­tice B Pu­ga­len­thi noted that of the 26 ex­ca­va­tions taken up in Tamil Nadu by the Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia (ASI), only the re­port re­lat­ing to Gudiyam cave was ready while that of Adichanal­lur was near­ing com­ple­tion. It then di­rected the gov­ern­ment coun­sel to get in­struc­tions on whether the re­port with re­gard to 24 an­cient sites were ready and when it would be re­leased.

Re­call­ing the queries it had raised, in­clud­ing the bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion to the states to un­der­take ex­ca­va­tion, the bench pointed out that those de­tails were not pro­vided so far by the Ar­chae­ol­ogy Depart­ment even though the or­der was passed on Fe­bru­ary 18, 2019 – a year and a half ago. Di­rect­ing the depart­ment to file the de­tails as sought, the bench also re­called its or­der re­gard­ing Udaiyalur, where the King Raja Raja Chola ceme­tery is lo­cated, to form a com­mit­tee and use GPRS with radar in­stru­ment for un­der­ground scan of 2.5 acre land in and around the lingam, which is said to be the burial site of the late king.

“It is not known as to whether the Ar­chae­ol­ogy Depart­ment has com­plied with the or­der passed by this court. In this re­gard, the Tamil Nadu Ar­chae­ol­ogy Depart­ment has to file a re­port,” the bench di­rected, and posted the plea for fur­ther hear­ing to Oc­to­ber 28.

Dur­ing the hear­ing, Si­vanan­dam, Deputy Direc­tor, Ar­chae­ol­ogy Depart­ment, sub­mit­ted that so far ex­ca­va­tion has been done at Keezhadi, Adichanal­lur, Si­vakalai, Ko­du­manal and Ala­ganku­lam. The re­ports on the ef­forts were be­ing read­ied and per­mis­sion was awaited from the cen­tral Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Depart­ment to hold fur­ther ex­ca­va­tions at Keezhadi, Adichanal­lur, Si­vakalai, Ko­du­manal, My­lad­umparai, Korkai and Gan­gaikonda Cho­la­pu­ram.

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