With the East Godavari district officials making arrangements to complete the Indira Sagar (Polavaram) left canal works, Buddhists and heritage lovers are expressing serious concerns over the digging works that pass through Kummarilova village near Tuni, a site where remains of Buddhist pottery dating back to the Satavahana period are being unearthed by the department of Archaeology.
The left canal is intended to connect the Polavaram project site and Visakhapatnam district, so that the Godavari water could be diverted to the north Andhra, once the long-pending project is completed. As per the plan, the left main canal passes towards Paravada in Visakhapatnam via Tuni from Rajahmundry. Instead of marking the canal via Tuni town, the officials have chosen the rural route, affecting the Kummarilova, probably to reduce expenditure under the relief and rehabilitation package.
“A good number of Buddhist relics have been unearthed by the department of Archaeology in and around Kummarilova. Some of them are with the department and some others are in the possession of the Revenue department in Tuni. We have made several representations to the district administration seeking an alternative route to the canal, which are of no use,” Merapala Narayana Rao, a scholar in Buddhist studies has told The Hindu . “Sayibula Metta, a village abutting Kummarilova has a Buddhist sthupa. The canal is marked just beside the sthupa,” he says.