Gold, money, treasure were all speculated after nine people, who claimed to have knowledge of a buried treasure at the foothills of Naubat Pahad, filed a petition last February.
The decision was surprisingly quick. Preliminary examination by the State archaeology department began soon after.
The high-voltage exploration lasted three days with the help of NMDC. But the process was suspended as quick as it began and the director of AP Archaeology, P Chenna Reddy moved out.
As the possible treasure lay buried, the issue has been relegated to the archives. But it’s sought to be revived and the process will restart in September with the consent of the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology (CABA), New Delhi.
“Soon after the explorations we formed a committee and conducted a meeting. The meeting included members from NMDC, ASI. We studied the case and concluded that 16 to 17 meters deep there may be some treasure and further probe is needed.
“We have asked CABA to give us permission. We will most probably get it in September,” said Ram Krishna, deputy director, AP archaeology department.
“The NMDC team carried out differential studies namely geological studies, topographic survey, ground resistivity survey-vertical electrical sounding method (VES) and ground magnetic survey. NMDC found anomalies in the shear zone at multiples points VES-6 and VES-7. Topographic survey, magnetic profiles and technical studies reveal linear magnetic anomalies which could be due to presence of a shallow magnetic object/construction/iron sheet cavity. These anomalies could be situated at a depth of approximate 20 feet.
“The technical studies establish the existence of a structure at the depth of 18-20 feet on the hill area. This surely means that further excavation is needed but the ASI is not giving us the permission due to external pressure. Also, the explored site needs police protection but no one is bothered,” said an official.
Officials at AP Archaeology whisper that it may not happen because pressure has been brought on the government to suspend the exploration since it stands on the foyer of a private property — Vidyaranya school.
However, few members from the department state that due to official pressure, the ASI is not giving the permission.
Chenna Reddy said, “We have conducted meetings and conclude that a further probe is needed. I wonder what’s stopping the ASI from giving permission. The process will cost less than Rs.30,000, and I don’t see any hitch in the excavation.”
The school property is not an archaeology site but for such activities permission from the department is necessary.
“We do suspect that something might be there but until September nothing can be done. Until now we were not sure of the dates but now we know that in September we will know,” said Krishna.
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