Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has issued notice to the Centre, Maharashtra government and the ASI on a PIL alleging neglect by various authorities in maintaining Mansar excavation site near here.
City-based NGO Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) and Ramtek Shiv Sena MLA Ashish Jaiswal moved the High Court on Wednesday against alleged apathy of the ASI and various authorities in maintaining Mansar excavation site, about 40 kms from here, which they claim has the potential to be a world heritage site.
Due to neglect, the valuable artefacts and precious treasure are being lost, the PIL claimed while seeking urgent intervention of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
A division bench of Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Atul Chandurkar, while issuing notice to Union and state governments and ASI, directed them to file a reply before September 4.
The Mansar site is a rich depository of archaeological marvels and has thrown light on historically important events and unique remains indicating ancient civilisations, the PIL pointed out.
It also mentioned the history of Vidarbha, its successive rulers and how Mansar site is crucial to fully decipher historical legacy, socio-religious-political upheavals of Vidarbha and various dynasties.
During excavations, a distinctive school of Mansar Art, marked by refined elegance and expressions was discovered. Some extraordinary red sand-stone sculptures here are peculiar to this place and not found anywhere else in the world. There are stone implements too, indicating early life of the stone-age, the PIL said.
The last excavations were undertaken by Bodhisatva Nagarjun Smarak Sanstha Va Anusandhan Kendra (a local Buddhist research institute) way back in 1998-99 and 1999-2000.
Subsequently, the excavation at the site was suddenly stopped half-way, the PIL stated while demanding that the Centre and ASI resume and complete the half-done work and then restore, protect and preserve the site and take action against illegal constructions coming up near it.