THE Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is all set to declare Masol village a protective site, dedicated to excavate millions of years old fossils. The work on this project has already suffered a delay of two years due to technical issues, including the transfer of land from district administration to the ASI.
Superintendent (Archaeological) V S Rawat told Chandigarh Newsline that after the land was transferred, a meeting was held by the ASI where it was decided that following its acquisition, the land would be declared ‘protective’.
“Once the site is declared ‘protective’, it will be under our control where the excavation of the fossils will begin, after a delay caused by a long process of transfer of land. Now all the hurdles are cleared , our department has also held meetings to carry out further actions,” Rawat added.
Rawat further said that in March 2016, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had directed ASI to acquire the land in Masol for excavation, after a joint team of Indo-French scientists found fossils in the area.
ASI has identified around 150 acres of land to be declared a ‘protective area’. The village is located in Shivalik Hills, 10 km from Chandigarh.
The fossils, found by India-based Society for Archaeological and Anthropological Research (SAAR) and France’s National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS), were said to be the oldest fossils dating back to 2.6 million years.
The discovery comprised 1,500 fossil collected over a period of seven years.