HC notice to govt, ASI on Mansar excavation site

The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has issued notices to the Central and state government, and the ASI, on a PIL alleging neglect by various authorities in maintaining the 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 by ASI and other authorities in maintaining the site, about 40 kms from Nagpur.
The PIL sought urgent intervention of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) claiming that valuable artefacts and precious treasure were being lost.
While issuing the notice to Union and state governments and ASI, the division bench of Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Atul Chandurkar directed them to file a reply before September 4.
The PIL claimed that the site is a rich depository of archaeological marvels. During excavations, a distinctive school of Mansar Art was discovered. Also, some red sandstone 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 last excavations here were undertaken by a local Buddhist research institute back in 1998-99 and 1999-2000.
The PIL said that subsequently, the excavation was suddenly stopped halfway, and demanded that the Centre and ASI complete the work. It also demanded that they restore, protect and preserve the site and take action against illegal constructions coming up nearby.

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