'Madikeri Fort to be conserved'

Cricketer Robin Uthappa inaugurates the bottle dropper as part of the World Heritage Day and World Toilet Day programme at Raja Seat in Madikeri on Monday.

Archaeological Survey of India Bengaluru Region Chief Superintendent Murthishwari said the department is committed to conserving the Madikeri Fort built during the 17th century by the Haleri ruler, Mudduraja. 

Speaking at the World Heritage Day and World Toilet Day programme organised by the Green City Forum and Archaeological Survey of India here at the fort premises on Monday, she said, "There are allegations that the Archaeology Department has failed to maintain the fort. In reality, the fort is not yet handed over to the department. Once the process of handing it over is complete after the shifting of the government offices functioning in the fort premises, the department will chalk out development programmes." 

The area was declared a national monument in 1920. There was no space for the deputy commissioner's office in 1924. Hence, to house the DC office, the fort was asked to be handed over. The fort has been housing the government offices since then and as a result, the conservation work could not be taken up, she said. 

"The fort is in a deplorable condition. The issue will be discussed with District In-charge Minister Sa Ra Mahesh and DC P I Sreevidya. Once it is handed over to the ASI, we will renovate the fort without harming the old structure. There is a need to conserve the monuments in our surroundings. People should also have knowledge of history," she said. 

Youth who have no knowledge of historical monuments are engaged in defacing them by scribbling names on the walls of heritage monuments, she lamented. 

Meanwhile, cricketer Robin Uthappa who inaugurated the bottle dropper as part of the World Heritage Day and World Toilet Day programme at Raja Seat promised help for the solid waste management unit at Subrahmanya Nagara.

"When we keep our surroundings and district clean, the country can also excel in sanitation. There is a need to create awareness on sanitation among schoolchildren. Instead of throwing the waste beside the roads, there is a need to dump it in dustbins," said Uthappa.

Green City Forum President Kukkera Jaya Chinnappa administered an oath on sanitation and conservation of heritage sites. 

Zilla Panchayat CEO Lakshmipriya said, "The district was declared as free from open defecation two years ago. All the households should have toilet facilities. There is a need to give priority to sanitation and cleanliness of our surroundings. 

DYSP K S Sundarraj was felicitated on the occasion.

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'Madikeri Fort to be conserved'

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