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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Government passes the buck on public for heritage conservation

TNN | Apr 19, 2012, 10.50AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Drawing flak from various quarters for the poor state of temples and monuments in Odisha, the state government on Wednesday sought the cooperation of public for preserving the state's heritage.

"Community participation is essential for preserving our heritage. Locals should prevent people from defacing monuments. The state government is taking steps to conserve 328 monuments in state," state culture director Sushil Das said on the sidelines of a workshop on World Heritage Day.

To spread awareness regarding this, the culture department on Wednesday organized a rally in Bhubaneswar. Hundreds of students, citizens, members of voluntary and civil society organizations and traditional artists joined the heritage walk rally. Holding placards and chanting slogans, the participants covered a number of heritage sites in Old Town area. Traditional dance troupes created awareness about the preservation of heritage through street performances.

The Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage, (Intach) that works on conservation of historical monuments in the country, expressed concern over the government's lackadaisical attitude to protect monuments. "The ASI and state archeology department are looking after a few hundred temples and monument in Odisha. But the state is home to nearly 3,000 unprotected heritage sites that need urgent attention," Intach's Odisha chapter convener A B Tripathy said.

Currently, out of around 195 lesser-known monuments in Bhubaneswar, 22 are being preserved by ASI and 15 by the state archaeology wing, sources said.

Intach recently launched the "adopt a monument" scheme to encourage PSUs to look after the maintenance of dilapidated heritage sites in Bhubaneswar.

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