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Umananda 'Peacock' Island in danger

Assam Government has given a work order for construction of a ropeway project over Urvashi river Island to M/s Samir Damodar Ropeway Pvt Ltd; who have constructed four big size RCC pillars in the Umananda Island to install high structure for ropeway project. Getting this information a team of a NGO, namely, Citizens’ First, consisting of Ajay Dutta, Ex- MLA, Krishna Kanto Borooah, Jagannath Das, General Secretary of the Forum and renowned archaeologist, Dr Pradip Sarma, visited the site of construction on the Umananda Island and found that the said company has already occupied a portion of the island and piled deep inside its rock bed to raise RCC pillars. By its such act, the company not only made an undue invasion in Umananda Island, but it made an onslaught on the revered place of Hindus.

In a memorandum to the Chief Secretary, Government of Assam, the Forum has said that it has come to the notice of the visiting team that the company has damaged different sculptures of ancient period, which are found lying scattered there. By their such irresponsible and improper acts the company has clearly violated the provisions of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. It has further mentioned that there has been a raging controversy regarding the construction of ropeway by the side of three islands of Urvashi, Karmanasha and Umananda. These are the witness to ancient ruins of temple and images of Gods and Goddesses. Besides, the islands are revered as place of pilgrimages from ancient times. There are visible signs of Royal sculptures in the islands. The British rulers named the island of Umananda as “Peacock Island.’

The Forum had reiterated that the people are very much anguished after the information about such construction on the Umananda Island and demand the removal of such construction ropeway project. The people want the Archaeology Department should take immediate steps to preserve the ruins of the Island which are lying scattered there.

The Forum has appealed to the Chief Secretary to impress upon the construction company to stop construction on the rock bed of the Umananda Island considering the situation and take necessary legal action against all concerned, who in clear violation of provisions of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act and the State government notification of 24th December, 2004 respectively allowed and taking up such construction work.

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Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary

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