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Archeologists urge LDT to shelve bus park project at Tilaurakot

Archeologists on Sunday advised the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) not to construct the bus station in the site it has proposed at Tilaurakot, the cardinal point of the Shakya dynasty where Lord Buddha spent the prime of his life.

The Trust had already made preparation for the construction of the proposed Tilaurakot Bus Terminus.

With the archeologists and heritage experts cautioning the possible damage to the historical treasures in the world heritage site by construction of any permanent structure, the project has been apparently shelved.

After the LDT expedited the bus park project, the Department of Archeology organized a discussion program of the stakeholders on the issue to take the stock of feasibility of the project.

Speaking at the discussion program, archeologists concluded that as the site for the bus park at the world heritage site was selected without proper research, it is not fit for the project.

An area south of Tilaurakot and west of Loksariya Stupa was selected in which the bus terminus capable of accommodating over 200 buses was to be built.
The LDT had planned to complete the project within a year.

Moreover, archeologist Basanta Bidari informed, signs of ancient water wells have been found at the spot proposed for the bus park. “As an archeological site, the place is not fit for any permanent structure. Any construction project in the area would damage the structure of the archeological and historical importance hand, besides disrupting the peaceful environment of the area of utmost importance to the meditating Buddhists,” he said.

UNESCO heritage expert Kai Weise said the government should be cautious while constructing any infrastructure at Tilaurakot as the archeological excavation going on the place.
He also was opined that bus park should not be implemented in the southern area of Tilaurakot as a number of archaeological remains have been found in the place. He suggested the construction of temporary infrastructures than any permanent ones in the place.

“We have already prepared the detailed plan for the Tilaurakot bus park. Nonetheless, we will definitely reconsider our plan after hearing expert´s suggestions,” said Local Development Officer Ram Prasad Pandeya.

The experts have, meanwhile, suggested shifting the bus park project to the land behind the Kapilvastu Museum.
PDT Vice-chairperson Acharya Karma Sangbo, however, insisted that the site was chosen for the bus park after the consultation with the Department of Archeology.

“We were sensitive not to affect the heritage site,” he said, adding that the PDT will hold further consultation on the issue with the department.

source: republica, 27 Jan 2014

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