The mining has been going for more than a week now, despite strong protests by locals in surrounding villages.

Unable to find treasure at Kurnool fort Andhra mining dept exits excavation work
news Controversy Friday, December 22, 2017 - 08:16

Days after the Andhra Pradesh government began a 'treasure hunt' with excavation at the historic Chennampalli Fort in Kurnool district, the Department of Mines and Geology has decided to exit the operations. 

Barring remains of an elephant tusk, horse and donkey bones, workers at the site have not found any sign of precious stones or minerals. 

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, additional director of mines and geology Nataraj, said, “As the first nine days of excavation yielded objects like bones, tusks, bricks, we are convinced that the site has no prospect of yielding any mineral rich samples. Therefore, we abandoned the search.”

The mining has been going for more than a week now, despite strong protests by locals in surrounding villages.

Speaking to TNIE, Sarpanches Association district vice-president U Venkateswarlu had earlier said, "The villagers objected tooth and nail to the aggressive pursuit of Adoni Revenue Divisional Officer M Obulesu for treasure in the fort. The revenue officials had convened a grama sabha after the protests from villagers and nobody has given their nod for excavation in the fort and adjoining temple.”

Due to this, a large number of police personnel had been deployed around the fort, to prevent any untoward incidents.

However, while the mining department has decided to abandon the search, excavation work is still likely to continue for two or three more days.

Speaking to media persons, Kurnool Collector S Satyanarayana dismissed reports that the excavation was being done illegally.

He also denied WhatsApp forwards doing the rounds, that gold and precious treasure had been found at the fort.

The entire excavation was being monitored by experts and being recorded by CCTV cameras, he said. Spanning 102 acres, the fort was also not a notified archaeological site, he added.

He also said that the skeletal remains of the animals were also of significant historic importance, and directed officials of the Department of Archaeology to examine them.


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