Maha: Chalcolithic site 'destroyed' in highway work

Aurangabad, Jan 8 (PTI) The Maharashtra archaeology department has alleged that a Chalcolithic site, which was to be excavated next month, has been destroyed during soil scooping work for a highway at Hatnur village in Aurangabad district.

The work was stopped after the department wrote to the revenue department, a state archaeology official said.

However, preliminary reports show that 70 per cent of the prime site area has been destroyed, the official said.

A 3,500-4,000 years old Chalcolithic site was discovered in Hatnur village in Aurangabad in 2015.

'Such a site is rare in Marathwada, and it was supposed to be excavated in February by state archaeology department and Deccan College,' curator of state archaeology department Mayur Thakre told PTI.

However, when the department got to know that soil was being scooped out from site for the construction of a highway nearby, it wrote to the sub-division officer (SDO) to stop work, Thakre said.

Meanwhile, revenue department officials have not denied digging on the site, but when asked about who had given them permission, they went into 'need to check' mode.

Speaking about the issue, Collector Uday Choudhari said, 'If our office has not received any information about the site from the concerned department, then its not our fault. However, if permissions were given to dig the site despite getting an intimation from the archaeological department, then the concerned officials will have to face inquiry,' Choudhari said. PTI AW ARU ARU

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