The V-shaped menhirs at Pankri-Barwadih
Hazaribagh, Oct. 6: National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) plan to beautify the Pankri-Barwadih megalith site by developing a park has run into rough weather with villagers refusing to part with their land.
The site, located about 17km from the district headquarters, had attracted several well-known researchers from abroad as well as India. Twice a year, people throng this equinox point to see the sun rising from the V-shaped menhirs or megaliths.
General manager of Pankri-Barwadih project of NTPC A. Upendra Rao said he had consulted experts of BIT, Mesra, regarding beautification and development of the area, but added that the project could only take shape once the land acquisition process was completed.
Sources said NTPC officials had also apprised villagers of the plans to construct a park at the area. They told the villagers that a megalith park would attract a large numbers of tourists, which in turn would benefit them.
But villagers have refused to transfer their land to NTPC without citing any reason. The district administration intervened and tried to convince the villagers but to no avail.
A two-member team from the art and culture department, led by deputy director Amitabh Kumar, visited the site today. Kumar said their first priority was to identify government and rayati (private) lands before moving ahead with the project.
Megalithic explorer Subhashis Das, who had discovered this site some ten years ago, refused to comment on the land issue. However, he welcomed NTPC’s move.
“The NTPC is doing what the state government should have done. My only request to NTPC officials is don’t disturb the natural beauty of the area by fencing the park,” he said.
“The primitive people had not fenced off the area and I think we should stick to it,” he added. Instead, he said a large billboard should be set up at the spot so that people could be made aware of the importance of the place.
Das said earlier, he had suggested the state art and culture department to develop the place by constructing a museum on the megaliths.