NMDC keeps treasure hunters waiting

HYDERABAD: The agonising wait for the report of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) on the “hidden treasure” at the Naubat Pahad continued on Thursday with officials claiming t

Published: 02nd March 2012 11:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:27 PM   |  A+A-

ND

A file photo of workers digging up at the Vidyaranya high school. The “exploration”, as officials like to call it, has come to a halt, for now.

HYDERABAD: The agonising wait for the report of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) on the “hidden treasure” at the Naubat Pahad continued on Thursday with officials claiming that it may be out this weekend. An expert team from NMDC had conducted magnetometer and resistivity surveys for a few days last week at the spot following the intervention of Tourism Minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar. The Archaeology Department officials, who turned to the NMDC on the advice of the minister, had initially said the report would be out by Tuesday and then, extended the date to Thursday.

And on Thursday, Director of Archaeology and Museum Prof P Chenna Reddy told City Express that he would discuss the issue with the NMDC officials on Friday. Reddy, who had gone to New Delhi on an official visit, returned tonight. “We expect the report in another two days. I will contact the corporation officials on Friday to enquire about the development,” said Reddy.

While conceding that further “exploration” at Naubat Pahad hinges on the findings of the NMDC team, he clarified that they would go ahead with their treasure hunt only during vacations for the Vidyaranya School students. “There is no point in hurrying up, let’s wait and see,” said the State Treasure Trove officer. Currently, students at the school are taking their ICSE exams and the Archeology Department has stopped all “exploration & excavation” works on its premises. The school management was promised a hassle-free time to conduct the exams by the Tourism Minister as well as Secretary Chandana Khan.

Thirteen days after the “geo-physical exploration” works commenced on the school premises, the Archeology Department has gone through various ups and downs attracting sharp criticism from different quarters for its unscientific approach. Coal India Manager D Sitarama Raju, one of the nine petitioners who claim to have seen a storage room and a tunnel at the site, has apparently left Hyderabad to attend to his duties at the Western Coalfields limited, Chandrapur in Maharashtra.

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