VIJAYAWADA: The Archaeological Society of India (ASI) has dropped its plan to move the science branch of the Hyderabad division, which has jurisdiction of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, to Mumbai, with the intervention of Union Culture and Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy. The ASI has also requested the union minister, in whose portfolio ASI figures, to also establish a new branch in Amaravati or Visakhapatnam.
On October 13, the ASI issued an order to move the science branch cadre to Mumbai, following which the ASI officials met Kishan Reddy requesting that the decision be withdrawn. They reasoned that the science branch, which ensures that monuments are protected, was critical in conservation of heritage both in AP and Telangana, and moving the branch to Mumbai would have serious impact on the ongoing initiatives.
AP has around 135 protected monuments, while Telangana has about 30. Soon after the representation by the officials, Kishan Reddy held discussions with officials and on October 16 the ASI issued another order changing the October 13 order. “The science branch in Hyderabad, which looks after both AP and Telangana, has been retained here with the support of the union minister. With the same spirit, a new branch in AP, at Amaravati or Visakhapatnam, should be established for 135 monuments in AP,” sources said.