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Central Information commissioner (CIC), New Delhi, M Sirdhar Acharyulu has informed that the central government has already forwarded its proposal to UNESCO headquarters to include Vikramshila Buddha Mahavihara in the lists of UNESCO’s World Heritage site.
Acharyulu has mentioned this in his order sheet of the Central Information Commission, New Delhi in after hearing of Bhagalpur based human right-cum-RTI activist, Ajit Kumar Singh’s second appeal in which the appellant sought information regarding the action taken step initiated by Buddha Circuit and the amalgamations made by the orders of state government (Bihar) and the central government, steps taken by them to declare Pracin Vikramshila Bouddha Mahavihara as UNESCO site, names of the places that have been associated with the Buddha Circuit and the World Heritage Site.
The order sheet mentions that the central public information officer (CPIO- ministry of culture, New Delhi) early on March 16, 2017 replied by stating that the information could be provided by investigating the matter under section 6 (3). The aggrieved was unsatisfied with the decision of the CPIO and made an appeal to the first appellate authority (FAA). The FAA upheld the decision of the CPIO, the appellant had approached the commission in second appeal.
However, the CIC has directed the CPIO, Patna circle to facilitate inspection of the complete file regarding nomination of Prachin Vikramshila Buddha Mahavihar as World Heritage site and to provide certified copies of selected documents, free of cost, to the appellant, ie, Ajit Kumar Singh within 15 days.
“It’s a great success as nobody in the government is even ready to open its mouth on Vikramshila related affairs,” Ajit told.
Sources claim that the this revelation by CIC, New Delhi is very important particularly when Bihar government has started foul game with Vikramshila’s development. “The state government has shown its hostile attitude in allotting 500 Acres of land as per central government’s requirement for the proposed central varsity in the name of Vikramshila at Bhagalpur. Local farmers are ready with offering more than 500 Acres of the lands against compensations but state government which started crying for penury, decided to arrange only 200 Acres of land,” the sources alleged.
However, many here who have been fighting for the rival of Vikramshila in the pattern of Nalanda, welcomed the CIC’s judgment. “The documents could exposed the state government’s misdeeds in pushing back Vikramshila,” many of them apprehended.
In the meantime, governor Bihar has called a meeting at Raj Bhawan, Patna on July 21 in which conservation, development and promotion of protected sites like Vikramshila , Vaishali along with other places having historical significances would be discussed. All the higher officials concerned from the areas across Bihar would be present at the meeting along with state higher officials and central government officials. Secretary and directors from union government’s ministry of culture and ministry of tourism along with director of archaeological survey of India (ASI), New Delhi would also be present.
Divisional commissioner, Bhagalpur Rajesh Kumar who would also present at the meeting said that from Bhagalpur two issues, proposed central University and how to enhance air connectivity for Bhagalpur would be also in the agenda of the meeting at Raj Bhawan, Patna. Besides, improving road connectivity, improving power availability, developing tourist facilities for the heritage sites like Vikramshila would be addressed along with other relevant issues in thye meeting.
People at Bhagalpur who want to reestablish Vikramshila once before the world like Nalanda, have welcomed governor, Bihar for taking the initiative. But political observers claimed that since works in many proposed projects like the central varsity at Vikramshila yet not started even passing more than three years of its announcements, mainly due to the indifferent attitude of Nitish-led Bihar government, central government now seriously wants to complete the pending projects, at least starting of works on some of them like at Bhagalpur, just before the forthcoming general polls of 2019.
“Earlier, Bihar governor rushed to Vikramshila for inspection and it was the part of such strategy prepared by center for having ground zero report from the governor about Vikramshila,” the political observers claimed.