Vijaydurg fort in dire condition despite spending Rs 50 lakh : Shocking information from Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad

If no action is taken against the guilty officials within a month, agitation will be held outside the office of the Central Archaeological Survey India Department! – Hindu Janajagruti Samiti

‘Vijaydurg fort, the fort that stands witness to the struggle of establishing Hindavi Swarajya during the reign of Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre is a golden page in the history of Marathas. But today, it’s in a very pitiable condition due to the negligence of the Archaeological Survey of India. Due to the Right to Information Act, Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad has uncovered very shocking information regarding this fort! An amount of Rs. 50,16,000 was spent on the repair of the fort during the period of 7 years from 2014 to 2021. Despite this investment, the fort is surrounded by overgrown trees and shrubs, filthy water tanks and wells, and a guest house that has been in disrepair for more than 30 years. The absence of bathroom facilities makes the region unhygienic. If spending Rs 50 lakh does not generate any results, there’s indeed a possibility of corruption in the fund. Therefore, HJS demands that this issue must reach the Union Tourism Minister and the guilty authorities must be held accountable within one month, failing which ASI’s headquarters will have to face mass protests, said Mr Sunil Ghanwat, state organiser of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti for Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh in the press conference. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s activist Mr Rajendra Patil and Hindu Vidhiadnya Parishad’s Adv. Kaveri Rane were present at the press conference.

On the occasion, Kaveri Rane, Advocate of Hindu Vidhyadnya Parishad said, “In this context, the information requested by Advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar, National President of Hindu Vidhyadnya Parishad, shows that in 2015-16, Rs. 67,338; 2016-17, Rs. 3,56,718; in 2017-18, in 2017-18, Rs. 7,12,204 in 2018-19, Rs. 12,51,598; in 2019-20, Rs. 11, 76,113 and in 2020-21, Rs.10,66,422 were spent. So, how can the fort be in such a bad condition even though it cost around Rs. 1 lakh per month? Where exactly did the ASI department spend this fund? Although Hindu Vidhyadnya Parishad had asked for an inspection report from the year 2000, only one year’s report was given. This shows that the ASI department officials who visit the fort only once in 20 years have no faith in the forts”.

After 30 years, government guest houses are seen as demolished condition on the forts !

On the fort is a guest house of the State Government which has been in disrepair for more than 30 years. In this regard, the Central ASI Department has stated that no construction can be done on the fort without the permission of the ASICentral office, so either it should be demolished or the State Government should seek its permission from the Central ASI office. Does that mean the ASI Department has been doing nothing for 30 years? What can one expect from the ASI department, which itself is in a state of neglect, to preserve the forts?

It costs Rs 1 lakh per month, but the trees and shrubs remain there !

The Regional Director of the Department of ASI has reported that the large number of trees and shrubs growing in the vicinity of the fort has adversely affected the construction of the fort and tourism. How do the trees and bushes live on the fort when forts are getting a fund of around Rs. 1 lakh per month ? So where do millions of rupees go ?

Water tanks and wells that have been unclean for years!

The water tanks and wells inside the fort have not been cleaned for many years and the tank near the granary is also unclean.

Realising the need for a toilet so late, nothing further is done!

Despite the observation that ‘immediate efforts should be made to build toilets inside the fort’, nothing has happened on it in the last 2 years. Therefore, people who come to the fort, tourists, satisfy their natural needs in the open vicinity of the fort and this makes the fort even more unclean. The uncleanliness is spreading.

Hindu Vidhiadnya Parishad had written a letter in August 2021 to the steering committee of Forts Conservation Committee formed by the State Government for the preservation and publicity of the underwater walls and shipyard of the Maratha period outside the Vijaydurg fort. Even this conservation committee has not done anything. Therefore, both the Central Archaeological Department and the State administration are found to be indifferent in this regard. What exactly do the ASI department officials who earn a salary of lakhs of rupees every month do ? Such a question arises on this occasion. This fort, which is an invaluable treasure of the Maratha Empire, is on its way to destruction due to the negligence of the ASI Department. However, on this occasion, we demand that action be taken against the responsible officials of the ASI Department for embezzling funds allotted for repairs and other works, without taking care of the fort, and also to preserve the sanctity of Vijaydurg fort immediately demanded Mr. Ghanwat in his press conference.

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