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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Chanda fort wall work resumes

TNN| Jan 17, 2012, 02.57AM IST

CHANDRAPUR: The reconstruction work of the fort wall near the ancient Anchleshwar temple which had stopped for last six months, has finally restarted. A few days ago the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) authorities, with the help of local administration, removed the encroachment - the priest's house.

Funds were allocated last year for the reconstruction of over 50-metre-long patch of the fort wall along the Zarpat river. The wall had collapsed following floods and heavy rains in 2003.

But, the construction work remained stuck as the priest of the Anchleshwar temple, who had built his house along the damaged portion of the wall, was not willing to clear his encroachment. It took more than six months to pursue him to remove his belongings from the house.

Finally, the priest's house was pulled down a few days ago to make way for reconstruction .

Chandrapur chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) convenor Ashoksingh Thakur, who is pursuing the matter, confirmed the clearance of the encroachment.

Thakur told TOI that to restore the old look of the damaged wall, the construction of the wall needed to be carried out with the similar kind of stones and construction material. The sand stones, of which the fort is made, have been brought from Gadchiroli and Andhra Pradesh.

The particular patch of the wall that collapsed, protected the ancient Anchleshwar temple from the onslaught of Zarpat river. After the collapse of the wall, religious organizations and political parties raised uproar for its reconstruction. Even few agitations were also staged, but the matter was put on the backburner after some time. However, after persistent persuasion by MP Hansraj Ahir, the ministry of tourism and culture took cognizance of the matter and ordered a survey of the damaged portion of the fort wall.

The Chandrapur chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) too pursued the matter at its own level. The ministry allocated Rs 75 lakh for the re-construction last year.

The ground breaking ceremony of the fort-wall was carried out on July 2011 at the hands of MP Hansraj Ahir in the presence of senior ASI officials.

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