Thursday, May 28, 2009

Maharashtra Forts For Sale - II : Sihangadh

1. Government Funds' Allocation
Number of forts in Maharashtra are being allocated 'few crores of rupees' each for repairs.
Sihangadh is one of the first ones. Funds summing approx. Rs. 16 Crores have been allocated for doing the fort repairs. This is on top of a Pune Municipal Corporation's 'work' going on involving the total of Rs. 5 Crores for the slopes of the fort.

2. Significance of Sihangadh
Pune region is considered cultural capital of Maharashtra and historically one of locations of country carrying cultural pride.
Sihangadh 25 km west to Pune city, is a hallmark of bravery and valor displayed by Marathas against Muslim invaders.
No wonder, most 'Puneits and many history loving Maharashtrians and Indians have emotional and cultural bonding with the fort and the region.

3. What's Hurting?
Puneits are known for their awareness for the social, and public matters. But when it comes to watchfulness and awareness regarding how surrounding forts are being abused
- by government contractors
- by politicians
- by shameless social elements
Punekars seems to be conveniently ignorant.

4. Damaging Facts:
4.1 Sidetracking the Goal Of Repairs To Favor Politician's Relative
A relative of a currently co-ruling party in Maharashtra, NCP headed by Mr. Sharad Pawar
has been awarded with contract.

4.2 Misuse of The Fort for 'Repairs'
Although terms of contract make it clear that the resources of the fort itself such as sand stones, won't be used for any addition to civil real estate of the fort, tens of contractor's trucks are digging into different regions of fort's slope for sand and stones.
The snap in the article shows a local newspaper clearly describing that the trees are being killed in order to 'aid' the 'repair' work of the fort. It also mentions that the forest department does not position itself to act against this.
The contractor is freely using four wheeled vehicle on the fort itself for his mission, although it is clearly provibited by law to do so, even for contractors.

4.3 Corruption In Repairs
The stonework being done is not enough to sustain the stones beyond a few years. Stones will come apart from the set locations. Cement being put in the gap is insufficient. Watering is not being consistently.
It is quite easy to consume these failures, by explaining at later time that....'visitors were continuously using the roads stonework was being done on, during the construction'.

5. The Bigger Danger
5.1 If Sihangadh Can Be Victimized, Other Forts Are No Big Deal:
If Sihangadh, the fort alert citizens feel probably most about, can be used as a corruption field, it is no brainer how the funds that will be allocated to other forts will be consumed.

5.2 Sihangadh: First victim in be spoilled by destructive repairs via corrupt political system
It has been in news that gradually many more forts will get compatible level of funding for such 'repair works'. Rajgadh has been approved some Rs. 5 crores of such funding. Politicians are talking about rejunuvating Pratapgadh. Pratapgadh is the fort where Shivaji Maharaj killed the demon Afzal Khan.

5.3 Step In Killing Few More Of People's Pride Points:
Victimization of Sihangadh just shows the level of valueless politics and corruption the politicians are prepared to do.

5.4 Adding Shame To Indian Intellectual Society:
And this also robbery of government funds happening in daylight in the daylight points how shameless and coward, we are becoming as far as taking pride in efforts in preserving the history .....for creating which our ancestors laid their lives.

6. What Can Be Done?
6.1 Hundreds of People visit Sihangadh each week. They are thought, purpose, time and mission.
Can they gather together single time....with single demonstrate their disapproval to the 'witness of Glorious Indian history' victimized ?
- This will be a unity of good souls and representation that proud history lovers are watchful.
- Coming together of similar thinking citizens may give rise to the next level of action items , which may go long way in preserving well deserved history for future generations

6.2 Can the local groups such as 'RashtraSeva', Political parties and local citizens, come together and pressurize the ignorant and careless government not to mess up with the historical pride matters ?

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