While the Ministry of Culture on Saturday clarified its stand on the ongoing excavation of gold in Unnao by the Archaeological Survey of India and said that the excavation is being carrying after ascertaining facts, director exploration of ASI Dr Syed Jamal Hasan said that he had doubt about whether any gold would be found.
"Whatever work we have done on exploration of various places, based on that I doubt there is a possibility of finding any treasure over here," CNN-IBN quoted Hasan as saying.
Meanwhile, the BJP too has criticised this treasure hunt saying they want the sleeping government to wake up.
Venkaiah Naidu was quoted by ANI as saying, "Woh log sona chahte hai, humlog kendra mei so rahi sarkar ko jagana chahte hai." (The government wants gold, and we want the sleeping government at the Centre to wake up.)
A statement issued by the Ministry said that the excavation is being done after the Geological Survey of India's report and not because of a Sadhu's dream.
According to the government, the GSI had reported of possible non-conducting metallic contents or alloys at 5-20 meters below the surface and suggested that an excavation be carried out.
"The Geological Survey of India had been asked to conduct an enquiry including GPRS (Ground Penetrating Radar Survey). On the basis of GSI report it was decided by ASI to undertake excavations at the site to try to unearth and determine the nature of the reported deposits. It is also noteworthy to mention that this is reported to be an ancient settlement site which may have the potential of being an important archaeological location," the statement said.
Preparatory arrangements have been made by ASI Lucknow Circle, including preliminary survey of the area, establishing camp office, removal of vegetation, etc.
The Archaeological Survey of India team on Friday began excavation work at the fort of Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, to dig out a hidden gold treasure suspected to have been buried there.
The hunt began after Swami Shobhan Sarkar, a local seer, claimed that he dreamt of 1,000 tonnes of gold being buried under the Daudiya Kheda fort.
The Raja, who was hanged in 1858 after rising up against the Britishers, appeared in the dream of the seer and told him to take care of the gold treasure buried in the remains of the late king's fort.
The dream was powerful enough that he managed to convince Union Minister for Agriculture and Food Processing Charandas Mahant of its veracity, the latter then directing the Archaeological Survey of India and the Geological Survey of India to conduct a survey of the site.
Read the full government statement below:
On the basis of reports received Superintending Archaeologist, ASI (Lucknow Circle) was asked to conduct a preliminary site enquiry. In the meantime Geological Survey of India had also been asked to conduct an enquiry including GPRS (Ground Penetrating Radar Survey). Report of the preliminary investigations of GSI was received from the Ministry of Mines on 8th October, 2013 (the GSI report mentions “this prominent non-magnetic anomalous zone occurring at 5-20 m depth indicative of possible non conducting, metallic contents and/or some alloys, etc. may be tested by excavation for further interest at the specified site”).
On the basis of GSI report it was decided by ASI to undertake excavations at the site to try to unearth and determine the nature of the reported deposits. It is also noteworthy to mention that this is reported to be an ancient settlement site which may have the potential of being an important archaeological location. The SA (Lucknow Circle) was conveyed permission on 10th October, 2013 to undertake the trial exploration/excavations by deputing a full team from his office.
Preparatory arrangements have been made by ASI Lucknow Circle, including preliminary survey of the area, establishing camp office, removal of vegetation, etc. The local administration has been informed about this and security arrangements have also been provided.
The excavation work has commenced from 18th October, 2013 and it is estimated to take a minimum 2 to 3 weeks to reach the reported level of deposits.
Updated Date: Oct 19, 2013 14:38 PM