Millennium Post

Govt to allow land owner to continue construction work near 'ancient tunnel' found at Bhatar

Govt to allow land owner to continue construction work near ancient tunnel found at Bhatar

Kolkata: The state government is likely to allow construction on the "private land" where an underground tunnel has recently been found, provided the owner agrees to resume work leaving 1 metre clearance from each side of the discovered site.

The state government would consider the same on humanitarian ground as a news is circulating that the government will take over the land as it is hundreds of years old.

It may be recalled that the centuries-old tunnel was discovered when some masons were carrying out foundation work on the land of one Jiarul Mullick at Mahata village in Bhatar of East Burdwan district.

Soon, it turned into a place of interest, with hundreds of people pouring in to the place to get a glimpse of the tunnel. The situation was such that police had to cordon off the area.

According to sources in the state government, the Directorate of Archeology and Museum has given a report to the state Information and Cultural Affairs department that also include suggestions on the immediate next steps to be taken in this regard.

The report was given after an Exploration Assistant rank official of the department visited the spot and thoroughly inspected the discovered site to assess its historical importance.

It has been learnt that the experts from the directorate have assessed that the tunnel was constructed between 14th and 16th Century.

Charcoal and broken potteries were found inside the tunnel, which suggest that it is nothing but a tomb. However, the archaeologists are yet to ascertain by whom it was built and in whose memory.

"The period when it was constructed was assessed after studying the shapes and sizes of the bricks used in the construction. The floor was constructed of limestone," said an official.

He further said: "The tunnel is an isolated structure in the area. There is no other age-old structure in the area with which it can be correlated.

However, samples have been collected from the spot and it is getting tested at the directorate's laboratory at the State Archeological Museum in Behala.

"If needed, help of other institutions would also be taken for further study," the official added.

It has also been suggested that the land owner can be allowed to carry out the construction work, leaving 1 metre clearance from each side of the site, measuring 3.25 metres in length and 1.3 metres in breadth.

However, protective measures have to be taken up first. The tunnel has to be covered with plastic sheet and then with soil, same as it was before. The reason being that moisture in air would damage the ancient bricks if it is left open.

Pritesh Basu

Pritesh Basu

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