Rumblings over shifting of Archaeology Department to Belagavi – The Hindu

The headquarters is to be moved from Mysuru to Belagavi

There are rumblings in the State archaeology wing following the government’s decision to shift the department’s headquarters from Mysuru to Belagavi.

The proposal to shift the office received Cabinet approval recently but the government Order regarding the same was yet to be issued and notified, said Commissioner of Archaeology Venktaesh.

He said it was likely that even the office of the Directorate of Museums will be shifted from Bengaluru to Belagavi, but things would become clear once the official notification was issued. If the director’s office was relocated to Belagavi, the Mysuru office would be left with a few engineers.Though a section of the staff welcomed the decision and said that shifting the office of the director would help give a renewed thrust to conservation of monuments in north Karnataka, others pointed out that monuments have received importance irrespective of the location of the headquarters. What mattered was the budgetary allocation, they argued.Incidentally, the head office of the State Archaeology Department was shifted from Mysuru to Hosapete in May 2000 precisely for the same reason: to give attention to monuments in northern parts of the State. But it was relocated to Mysuru in July 2000.Previous experienceRecalling the experience of shifting the Archaeology Department to Hosapete in 2000, the staff pointed out that functioning was affected as the heads had to frequently travel to Bengaluru for court cases, attending Assembly sessions, to apprise the government of various issues and more fund was spent on travelling than conservation.“The department has a history of nearly 135 years and was established by the then princely State of Mysore in 1885 with B.L. Rice as its first director. Even when all important offices shifted to the State capital Bengaluru in 1956, the Archaeology Department was retained in Mysuru and shifting it to Belagavi will bring no tangible benefits,” according to senior officials.

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, the staff said there were offices of the deputy director of Archaeology in Dharwad and shifting the same to Belagavi was more prudent. Besides, the treasure trove containing invaluable artefacts were preserved in Mysuru and could not be relocated and this would create additional administrative problems, they said.

Besides, Mysuru already has a full-fledged office with a museum and it is not practical to disturb it, said the staff.

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