Much ado about nothing

The treasure hunt at Vidyaranya School is likely to be stopped as technical panel fails to meet even once on the issue.

Published: 26th April 2012 01:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 10:31 PM   |  A+A-


A file photo of workers digging at the Vidyaranya School as part of the treasure hunt | EPS

HYDERABAD: The comic treasure hunt at the Vidyaranya High School, suspended for now, is likely to be stopped for good. The “geophysical exploration” was supposed to be resumed after the completion of exams at the school but it appears unlikely as the technical committee, formed to study the NMDC report on the same and decide on the future course of action, hasn’t met till date.

According to sources, those involved in the wild goose chase believe the issue is being given a quiet burial. The school has been closed since the second week of this month and if one were to go by the initial enthusiasm of the Archeology Department, the excavation would have started by now.

One of the descendents of the Wanaparathi family which owns the property, Krishnadev Rao said he hadn’t received any communication from the officials. “As a family, we are also waiting for the official communication. We continue to believe that there could be nothing beneath the Naubat Pahad,” he said. The technical committee has not met even once, sources on the panel told City Express. Representatives from The Archeological Survey of India (ASI), the Remote Sensing Agency, National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), State Archeology Department and the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) are on the panel.

NMDC officials, who conducted surveys at the Naubat Pahad, had hinted at a possible tunnel-like structure beneath the Naubat Pahad in their report submitted to the Archeology Department.

With Prof P Chenna Reddy, the then director of the Archeology Department, who was the driving force behind the farcical treasure hunt, being shown the door, and the hunt for his successor not yet complete, it is almost certain that the exploration would be stopped, sources said.

“There is nothing at Naubat Pahad. It was all a waste of time. May be, they have realised it,” said P Anuradha Reddy, convenor, Intach, and one of the family members of the Wanaparathi samsthan. Even the school security guards are sure that the hungama is over. “One constable each is posted here for day and night. They are not  systematic and leave us with the additional responsibility of safeguarding the ‘site’ within the premises. Looking at the seriousness of the authorities, it seems they already know that there is no treasure or tunnel here,” said a school security guard.

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