Outcome of agitations staged by ‘Vishalgad Rakshan and Atikraman-virodhi Kruti Samiti’
Assistant Director, Archaeology Dept. inspects Vishalgad !
Kolhapur : Shri. Vilas Vahane, the Assistant Director of Archaeology paid a visit to Vishalgad and 15 days’ notice has been issued against 12 persons for removal of their unauthorised structures. Further action will be taken if the unauthorised structures are not removed. News regarding Shri. Vilas Vahane meeting the District Collector of Kolhapur, Shri. Daulat Desai on 26th June 2021 in this context has been published by few media agencies.
1. ‘Vishalgad Rakshan and Atikraman-virodhi Kruti Samiti (Kruti Samiti)’ was set up on March 14, 2021 at Kolhapur to expose the issue of encroachments at Vishalgad. The ‘Kruti Samiti’ held a press conference for the first time on 16th March at Kolhapur and brought up this issue. ‘Kruti Samiti’ staged demonstrations in Kolhapur by ringing bells; online demonstrations were also staged throughout the State and a memorandum was submitted in various districts including Kolhapur. Shri. Vahane met different elected representatives in this regard and explained the issue.
2. Shri. Sunil Ghanwat, the spokesperson of ‘Kruti Samiti’ had met Shri. Vilas Vahane, the Assistant Director of Archaeology Department on 23rd March at Pune, when Shri. Ghanwat had brought the present situation at Vishalgad to his notice.
3. No action could, however, be taken afterwards due to the increase in cases of Corona. Now, Shri. Vahane visiting Vishalgad in the first week of June and issuing notice to the encroachers is an outcome of agitations staged by ‘Kruti Samiti’, was the response given by Shri. Sunil Ghanwat.
Source : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat
All encroachments should be removed on Vishalgad by the Archaeological Department within the time limit instead of just serving notices against encroachment ! – Mr. Sunil Ghanwat, Spokesperson, Vishalgad Protection and Anti-Encroachment Action Committee
June 9, 2021
Vilas Wahane, Assistant Director, Archaeological Department visited the site regarding the encroachment and issued notices to 12 people. It is gratifying that the Department of Archaeology, which had not taken any action for the last 17 years has at least inspected regarding encroachments and issued notices; however, considering the large scale encroachments on Vishalgad since 1998, there are 64 large encroachments on the fort and more than than 45 newly constructed small encroachments. Action is expected to be taken action against all of them. The fort has been neglected by the Archaeological Department for the last several years and as a result, today the fort is in the grip of encroachment. The temples and Samadhis of the heroes are neglected. Therefore, the Archaeological Department should not be satisfied with just giving notices, but should remove all encroachments by drawing up a time-bound program, demanded the Spokesperson of Vishalgad Protection and Anti-Encroachment Action Committee, Mr. Sunil Ghanwat.
Mr. Ghanwat further said that according to the RTI information received earlier, the Archaeological Department had admitted that the fort had been heavily encroached upon with many constructions. Vishalgad has been with the Archaeological Department since 1998 and even though some of the land is with the Forest Department, the Archaeological Department is ultimately responsible for any encroachment on the fort. What will the Archaeological Department do to remove the massive encroachments on this fort, mainly the Rehan Baba’s Dargah ? This also needs to be clarified by the Department. Although some of the encroachments on the fort fall under the purview of the Forest Department, the two Departments need to coordinate and follow up to remove all encroachments on the fort. Even before this, in the last 17 years, the Archaeological Department has done nothing more than issuing notices to encroachers. Therefore, even at this time, it is important to follow up until the entire encroachment is removed and not limited to giving notices. At the same time, we are demanding that all the temples, including the temple of Shri Waghjai Devi, the village Deity of the fort, should be repaired and renovated, as well as monuments, Samadhis, fort and ramparts should be repaired.