Wednesday, December 08, 2004


'No trace of Saraswati river so far'


The Tims of India

NEW DELHI: Culture Minister Jaipal Reddy said on Monday that excavation conducted so far at nine sites has not revealed any trace of the lost river Saraswati.

He also made it clear that the UPA government has not extended the sanction for the project given by the NDA government.

During Question Hour in the RS, Reddy, giving a progress report of the Saraswati River Heritage Project launched by the NDA government, said that though the project report was prepared in September 2003 envisaging a cost of Rs 36.02 crore, it was later reduced to Rs 4.98 crore.

According to Reddy, six sites were taken up for excavation after the project was sanctioned while three sites were being excavated earlier. But so far only remains of Harappan and pre-Harappan times have been discovered.

Reddy also promised to look into suggestions for a comprehensive study of the Saraswati river through remote sensing and archaeology only after the current excavations get over.

CPM leader Nilotpal Basu wanted to know who was behind the Saraswati project and whether the central advisory board of archaeology's permission was taken.

Reddy said the idea was mooted by a committee headed by the then culture minister Jagmohan which later took the advisory board’s clearance.

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