ASI team to assess ONGC seismic survey damage to Ranghar

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Guwahati, Mar 14 (UNI) An expert team would visit the historic Ranghar in Sivsagar tomorrow to assess the damage to this relic of Ahom rule during an ONGC seismic survey.

Assam Cultural Affairs Minister Gautam Bora informed this at the State Assembly here today and replied to a call attention motion by CPI legislator Dhrupad Borgohain, by saying, ''The team, which was set up by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI), would suggest measures to repair the damage as well as for the Ranghar's conservation.

Mr Borgohain, while referring to media reports on the cracks in Ranghar due to the seismic survey by ONGC, alleged that the state government had failed to react even after the reports first appeared in February end.

He said the ONGC carried out the survey only 200 m from Ranghar against the set rule of at least 300 m gap from any historic monument.

Mr Borgohain also highlighted the plight of the common people, whose houses had developed cracks due to seismic survey by the ONGC near their homes.

Mr Bora, denying the government's inactivity regarding the issue, said the ASI was responsible for the conservation of the Ranghar, which was a top category historic monument in the country, and the state government was not related to its activities.

However, owing to the graveness of the issue of cracks in the Ranghar, the state had approached the ASI for a report, in which the latter had said it was pursing its own measures to ensure that the damage is repaired.

The ASI had also taken up the issue with the ONGC and issued strict notice that no such breach should be made in the future, the minister informed.

Another expert team, constituted by the ASI, would visit the Ranghar tomorrow and assess the damage and come up with measures for better conservation of this relic of 600-year rule of the Assamese people.

UNI SG LL RL HT1614

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