Hyderabad: The cardinal science branch of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is now shifted from this city to Mumbai, leaving both the Telugu states without a science branch in the ASI circle offices to carry out the research part of the conservation of monuments.
It was the common science branch in the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh ASI circles which together host 139 monuments of great historical value. It is to be noted that shifting of the science branch comes at a time when Telangana’s Ramappa temple has been declared as the UNESCO world heritage.
Set up in 1953 in Hyderabad the common science branch played a crucial role as the Ramappa temple was declared a world heritage site since it was the first scientific body that proved that the monument was built on floating bricks. The order issued on October 13 calls for the transfer of the science branches in New Delhi and Hyderabad to Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai respectively, without citing any reasons.
The ASI order aims at the revival of 41 posts and the creation of 758 new posts across different cadres for strengthening the central archaeological body, but on the other, it drew the curtains on the Hyderabad branch, shifting it to Mumbai.
Speaking on the issue, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, Hyderabad (INTACH) convener P Anuradha Reddy was quoted by The Times of India as saying, “The decision to shift the office was unfortunate as it will impact the scientific conservation of Ramappa and several monuments in the tentative or proposed lists for the UNESCO tag. ASI has three main branches – conservation, science, and horticulture. The science branch is important as it does research on the material used in the monument and protects the same from the vagaries of nature and pollution from vehicles and industries.”