Jaisalmer: In the wake of collapse of a portion of the boundary wall of the Sonar Fort, International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is sending a report to the UNESCO.
A special committee of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) led by ASI superintendent P S Raman has reached the site for investigating the incident. The team will begin its investigation on Saturday. Presently, orders have been given to stop the repair work of the fort. The wall collapsed due to weakening of structure due to seepage in the hill.
Shockingly - illegal construction has been going on near the fort due to increasing commercial activities - apparently damaging the 861-year-old heritage structure. The weakening of the structure is being attributed to the continuous seepage of the water in the hill. Sources informed that the RUIDP has not laid the sewerage line properly. "There are many lacunae in the laying work of sewerage line. The ongoing works also continue bereft of supervision of experts," a source added.
Shikha Jain, director, DRONAH and coordinator of ICOMOS India said, "The wall collapse incident of the Jaisalmer Fort has rendered a warning that this world heritage site may soon slip into the danger list. The root cause that is endangering the fort needs to be pointed out and corrected immediately. The management plan for Jaisalmer is long overdue to UNESCO as mentioned in recent ICOMOS reports."
Although the multiple agencies are involved in restoration of the fort, it is now clear that all the agencies must work in coordination along with the help of local residents, said Jain.
"The damaged portion of the wall has been covered with plastic and repairing work has been stopped. The wall restoration work will start after the monsoon," said S K Gupta, senior officer, ASI.