ONGC plans to conserve Assam heritage sites

Guwahati: The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has chalked out a Rs 3,96 crore plan to preserve heritage sites in upper Assam including the historic monuments of the Ahom era which are now in ruins.

"The ONGC in association with National Culture Foundation (NCF) has taken up a project called Amulya Dharohar (valuable heritage)", ONGC`s Deputy general manager (corporate corporation) Pallab Bhattacharya told PTI here today.

Four historical sites of the erstwhile Ahom Kingdom, the Talatal Ghar and Rang Ghar in Sibsagar, Kareng Ghar in Gargaon and four "maidams" (burial place of Ahom kings) in Charaideo will be provided major face lifts under the project.

The ONGC in association with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and NCF has taken up the project with a view to conserve and beautify the heritage sites which will help in exploitation of the vast tourism potentials of the remains of the Ahom kingdom.

The project is a part of the ONGC`s corporate responsibility as the company was functioning from upper Assam where most of the monuments of the 600 year-old Ahom kingdom lies, Bhattacharya said.

The ONGC official said the project costing Rs 3.96 crore will be implemented in two phases with the first phase costing Rs 2.38 crore and the second phase Rs 1.58 crore. "In the first phase, emphasis will be laid on scientific measures for conservation of the priceless heritage sites while process for scientific clearance of buried structures and their documentation will be carried out at Talatal Ghar in Gargaon", he said.

Stress will also be laid on development of tourist infrastructure as creating facilities, constructing pathways, route maps, electrical installations and security arrangement for tourists, he said.

The second phase will cover development of tourist amenities and protection the sites from human encroachment and damage. "Along with development of tourist facilities, steps will be taken to woo foreign as well as domestic tourists through publicity and awareness programmes", Bhattacharya said.