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Saturday , September 25 , 2010
 
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Oldest hamlet faces extinction threat

Chhapra, Sept. 24: The oldest village in the state may soon become history if immediate steps are not taken to control the Ganga which is devouring it metre by metre, year by year.

Chirand is situated 14km from the district headquarters along the Chhapra-Patna road.

The hamlet is situated some distance away from the confluence of three rivers -- Ganga, Sarayu and Sone.

The village has a historical significance and around half a kilometre of area in the village is protected under the archaeological department of Bihar. This protected site extends up to the banks of Ganga river.

In the past few years, the river has eroded major portions of the village, including the site protected by the archaeological department. At least 10 metres of the site is submerged in water and the department officials seem to have turned a blind eye to the fact.

A colony called Nonia tola, in fact, is on the verge of getting submerged.

Chirand Vikas Parishad has made some efforts to bring the situation to the notice of the authorities.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar during his Pravas Yatra in the month of April this year was “shocked” to see the condition of the village and had instructed water resource department officials to immediately take necessary steps and do the boulder pitching work at the earliest, before the onset of monsoon.

However, nothing has been done so far.

An archaeological department board near the protected site reads: “This place is of archeological importance. Whoever will try to disturb it or damage it would be punished with a fine of Rs 5,000 or three years imprisionment or both.”

In total defiance of its own warning, the department has gone ahead and constructed a building on the periphery of the site, with outlets pointed towards the protected area.

Chirand is said to be the place from where culture and civilisation spread to the whole of Bihar.

Its historical importance can be gauged from the fact that historian W.W. Hunter gave a detailed information about the village in his account in 1871.

Archaeological work started here in 1962 under M.S. Altekar.

The survey continued till 1981. It is said to be the place of King Mayurdhwaj of the Chero dynasty.

The Pal dynasty too ruled here in the pre medieval period.

Lord Buddha’s disciple Anand is said to have visited this village and breathed his last here.

RISK FACTORS

Chirand is situated near the confluence of rivers Ganga, Sarayu and Sone.

Half a kilometre of area in the village is protected under the archaeological department of Bihar.

Ganga has eroded parts of the village, including the site, but government officials are hardly bothered.

The archaeological depart-ment, in fact, has erected a building on the periphery of the protected site, ignoring its own warning of not disturbing the area.

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