Tuesday, Aug 13, 2002
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By Our Staff Correspondent
According to the Public Works Minister, Dharam Singh, the UNESCO has asked the Government to construct a bypass road around the historic monument, Talavarghatta Gateway, and also to dismantle the half-constructed cable suspension footbridge across the Tungabhadra leading to Virupapura Ghadde from Hampi.
The UNESCO has asked the Government to upgrade a five-km stretch of Kampli-Hospet Road to enable diversion of vehicular traffic from the cable-stayed bridge to prevent damage to the fragile monuments of the Vijayanagar era.
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Mr. Singh said the Government had decided to accept the conditions imposed by the UNESCO and take up the construction of the NABARD-assisted modern cable-stayed bridge, fifth of its kind in the country.
The UNESCO has threatened to remove Hampi from the World Heritage site list if the Government did not stop construction near the historic site.
The threat to the historic monuments due to the construction of the cable-stayed bridge has caused a furore in the academic circles forcing the Government to suspend construction.
The Government has also constituted a committee to visit the historic site and assess the situation and recommend alternative measures.
The UNESCO, on the request of the Union and State governments, has deputed two teams to assess the situation after construction of the cable-stayed bridge was stopped.
The teams have been asked to suggest alternative measures to preserve the monument as well as meet the demands of the people of Anegundi and Hampi and other villages for easy access over the Tungabhadra.
Mr. Singh said the Cabinet had decided to go ahead with the construction of the cable-stayed bridge across the river connecting Anegundi and Hampi following the recommendations of the representative of the UNESCO, Kammier, who visited Hampi and took stock of the situation there.
Mr. Singh said that Mr. Kammier in his recommendation to the Government had suggested construction of a bypass around the historic Talavarghatta Gateway to prevent the movement of traffic through the gateway, which would damage the remnants of the protected monument.
The Zilla Panchayat President, Amatappa Kandakur, and the former panchayat President, Allamprabhu Patil, were present.
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