There is systematic and
continuous destruction of protected archaeological sites in Sindh, going
unnoticed during past 20 years, due to disinterest and negligence. Following are
a few glaring examples:
- Thul Mir Rukan Stupa site in
encroached up on by the village of the some name and houses have been built on
the very edge of that monument. Children play with its structure. The elders
remove its bricks for construction of barns and etc.
- Kahu Daro land has been lost
by Archaeological Department in a court case, to the local land owner. He has
already started leveling, one of finest Buddhist Stupa in the South-Asia,
excavated by Henry Cousens at the end of the last and beginning of this
century. It was a fine example of art and local workmanship reported in most
prestigious books, journals and reports.
- Depar Ghangro Daro has been
encroached by village Jhol and houses have been built on its structural
- Brahmanabad/Mansura was
destroyed in the last century for use of bricks as ballast material for North
Western Railway tracks. Some 10 other sites around it are also lost due to
- Only last week I witnessed
Alore fort area, being occupied by unauthorized houses in process of building,
on its high ground, by two Brohi stone material contractors, who are removing
stones form Eocene Series of hills near by and need housing for them-selves
and their labor.
- Two fine tombs called
Suhagan and Dhuhagan, of 13th or 14th century near Alore
are threatened to destruction to due to dynamiting of surrounding hills by the
above two Brohi contractors from day to day. With exception of Jam
Nizamuddin’s tomb at Makli, no other Samma period tomb has beauty of these two
tombs, having very fine decorative patterns in local bricks and probably Kufic
scripts in brick designs. They still are in sufficient safe state, to study
their art, workmanship and etc., if early action to save is taken.
- Dhamraho Daro is being
excavated right in its centre to borrow earth for mud houses of local village
of same name. An Italian team wanted to excavate this mound but was refused
only 3 years back.
- The land of Dhamraho Daro
site is being brought under cultivation and some 75% of mound area is already
under agricultural crops.
- The total area under Mohenjo
Daro has not been mapped, but more than half is already cropped.
- Lohan-jo-Daro is occupied by
a village built after establishment Dadu Sugar Mill in 1976.
- Khudabad city remains in
Dadu Taluka, are being converted into agricultural fields.
- A 32 acre Middle Stone Age
factory dating back to 500,000 years ago near Rohri found by Allchins in 1976
and reported in Geographical Journal of Royal Geographical Society London is
being destroyed by contractors for supplying stone to local cement factory.
The above are just a few
examples of how the past history and culture is being destroyed in front of our
own eyes, in a short space of past 20 years.
Archaeological Survey of India
and also of the Western Circle (under which Sindh came), declared many
archaeological sites as protected. This does not mean their legal ownership by
the Archaeological Department of Pakistan. The land belongs to Government of
Sindh and through its Board of Revenue; it is sold, transferred or allotted to
various users. The Archaeological Department has to get survey numbers of such
sites from Directors of Survey and Settlement at Hyderabad or Sukkur, apply to
the Sindh Board of Revenue, who in turn will ask respective Revenue Officers of
3 Barrages at Hyderabad and Sukkur, to allot the land to the Archaeological
Department. The Archaeological Department then, has to have prepare entries made
in Revenue Registers, in various Mukhtiarkars offices. Once the ownership is
established the encroachments can legally be vacated. Mere letters to Governor,
Chief Minister and commissioners can not help.
This is an appeal to all
concerned to save our national heritage and the past.