Realty takes root in Aihole village

Realty takes root in Aihole village

Under-construction resort may overwhelm heritage monuments

Realty takes root in Aihole village

 A hitech resort is coming up sans the necessary permissions in this heritage village, right in the midst of the tens of priceless monuments.

This, in a day and age when the stress is increasingly on securing the country’s heritage structures. The village is home to 122 historic temples.

Statutory provisions have not come in the way of those trying to build the resort. All construction work is prohibited in the village under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010. However, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is out of action, even though it should have stepped in to prevent violation of the rules.

Hubli-based Gandhi Constructions is building the ‘Lotus Heritage’ resort on the land where the ‘wade’ (bungalow) belonging to the Aihole Desai once stood. The bungalow was demolished an year ago. The ‘wade’ had been purchased by Payal M Kothari from Mumbai for crores of rupees.

Prohibited area

The area within a radius of 100 metres of protected monuments is declared prohibited and that within a radius of 100 to 200 metres is restricted for any construction work. But the resort in Aihole is coming up 50 metres from the Durga temple and right at the base of the Meguti temple.

Village residents wonder  how permission was granted when they are not allowed to take up even repair works in their houses that are dilapidated on the grounds of heritage protection. They feel there is something fishy in the whole matter. They want ASI to come clean on the issue. 

The process to relocate 942 houses in the village had been initiated when Jagadish Shettar was the chief minister. But it came unstuck as farmers who owned the alternative land identified for building houses for the land owners have refused to part with their properties. 

D Pramod, Assistant Conservator of the Aihole sub-division of the ASI, told Deccan Herald that they do not have powers at the local level to permit constructions in the village.

"Pramod said the National Monuments Authority in Delhi had approved repair works in the bungalow. He added that he was not aware of any move to construct a resort in Aihole.

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