Devotees disappointed as Datta caves still remain closed

Permanent works yet to be started

Tourists having a look at the locked gate at the entrance of Datta caves. DH PHOTO

The tourists have co-operated over the years because of the proposed repair works. But this year, the devotees have questioned the district administration as to when they will complete the repair works and when they will be allowed to have a closer ‘Darshan’ at the caves.

The temporary works at the caves taken up at a cost of Rs 32.25 lakh have been completed at the caves.

The permanent repair works of Rs 44.65 lakh is yet to be started. This work will be taken up under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India, informed District in-charge Minister S Suresh Kumar in his Independence Day address.

Now, the local residents and devotees have a simple question. If the temporary work of just installing some support pillars in the cave, which had slipped took more than a year, how long will the proposed permanent repair works will take?

“People from various parts of the district come to the Peeth. About 100 to 120 vehicles come on an average, every day only to return disappointed as they cannot enter the caves and have Darshan,” says Wazeer, a tea stall owner adding that the situation has been like this for the last three years.

Various organisations have raised voice against the delay in execution of work. They say that BJP which used Dattapeet as a major issue to come to power abandoned the Peeth once its work was done, say the members of various organisations.

While MLA C T Ravi in a press meet recently said that BJP has done all that is possible to develop the cave, he held a certain group of people who moved to the court responsible for delay in implementation of the repair works.

On the other hand Shakhadri Gaus Moideen, who had gone to the court over Dattapeeth issue, said that he had not gone to the court not to stop the repair works, but he had moved to the court seeking that the traditional look of the Dargah and the tombs should not be altered during the repair process.    

Moideen said that the government feels that banning entry to the Peeth in the pretext of repair work will solve the problems.

The entire Baba Budangiri area is a feast for eyes all round the year, especially during the monsoon and now that the Government decisions are preventing the people from enjoying this lavish spectacle, there are disappointments in the hearts of both devotees of Baba as well as Dattathreya.

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