Skip to main content

Odisha to ban quarrying near heritage sites

Official fears harm to Buddhist heritage of the State

State government is set to ban quarrying of hillocks dotted around the famous Buddhist sites Lalitgiri, Udaygiri and Ratnagiri, known as ‘Diamond Triangle of Odisha Tourism’ in Jajpur district.
“Indiscriminate quarrying of hillocks around Lalitgiri, Udaygiri and Ratnagiri would prove detrimental
to our great Buddhist heritage. Quarrying operation should not be done for short term gains. These archaeologically important places have credible evidence about presence of remnants of rich Buddhist legacy,” said Arabind Padhee, State Tourism and Culture Secretary here on Saturday.
Mr. Padhee was addressing the second international conference on Buddhist Heritage of Odisha here.
“Further archaeological excavations could lead us to discovery of Buddhist relics. Those who are involved in quarrying hardly know importance of the heritage. If they are allowed to quarry, in no time these hillocks will be flattened,” he said.
The Tourism and Culture Secretary said, “we will prohibit quarrying of minor mineral in places which have credible evidence of historical vestiges.” In fact, Jajpur district administration has already moved ahead by preventing quarrying around these sites in small scale. According to various researches compiled by the State government, the hills and hillocks of the range for their geographical isolation from the surrounding plains were rightly chosen for the residence of the Buddhist monks during the four months of rainy season as attested by discovery of several Buddhist establishments in and around the range. Buddhism witnessed roaring prosperity in Birupa-Chitrotpola valley during the rule of Bhauma-karas as evidenced from the archaeological vestiges at Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udaygiri, Langudi and many other sites in neighbourhood at Vajragiri, Tarapur, Deuli, Kolangiri, Kayama and Radhanagar.
Mr. Padhee said the State government was trying to develop credible literature for promoting Buddhist sites of Odisha internationally, for which Buddhism and Buddhist Heritage Studies in Utkal University of Culture would be given a push.
According to S. K. Patnaik, Secretary of Odisha Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies, based on recent archaeological explorations and excavations, the State has more than 200 Buddhist sites compared to 200 in Uttar Pradesh and 140 in Andhra Pradesh. Number of Buddhist sites in Odisha would go up further.
The three-day conference on Buddhist Heritage of Odisha saw experts and Buddhist monks from the country and outside assembling at this rural pocket.
Addressing the conference, passionate Buddhist researcher and State Election Commissioner Ajit Kumar Tripathy suggested features like peculiar Buddhist fair should be added to this annual conference to draw more tourists.
Among others, D. N. Jena, Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University of Culture and A. K. Pattanayak, university’s former Vice-Chancellor spoke at the inaugural session.


Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…