Twenty-four monuments have disappeared and remained untraceable, the government said on Monday. Union Culture minister Mahesh Sharma, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha, said that the ruins of Copper Temple in Arunachal Pradesh, Guns of Emperor Sher Shah in Assam’s Tinsukia district, Bara Khamba Cemetery in Delhi and the ruins of fort Bamanpukur in West Bengal’s Nadia district are among the disappeared monuments.
According to the list of untraceable monuments prepared by the ministry, Uttar Pradesh tops with 11 such monuments, followed by two each in Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, and one each in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
Conservationists say that urbanisation has made it very difficult to trace such monuments and often buildings come up around them and eventually parts of the historical site are “swallowed up.” Another reason for the monuments disappearing is the routine encroachment, say senior culture ministry officials.
The minister listed eight such encroachments in centrally protected monuments during the last five years which his ministry has partially removed. They include Asafi Imambara in Lucknow, a mosque at Sakhakheda in Maharashtra, Mahadev Temple, Chaiturgarh Fort, Dantenshwari Devi Temple at Chattisgarh, D’Eremao Cemetery in Delhi, Mosque of Sarai Alavardi Khan in Haryana and Virupaksha Temple in Hampi, Karnataka.
The Minister also said that the government has spent Rs 23,551.95 in 2014-2015, Rs 23,746.25 in 2015-2016 and Rs 30,176.22 in 2016-2017 for the conservation of protected monuments and sites under the Archaeological Survey of India.