[We are giving the News after studying from various Newspapers in Chennai.]
“ Kannaki Charitham Nanggiar koothu”,
[Story of Kovalan, a rich grain merchant in the port city of Poompukar, and his beautiful and loyal wife Kannaki.]
D.M.K. Leader Karunanidhi was the chief mentor for installing Kannagi Statue in the Marina Beach, Chennai. Once several rich business community people were lived in Kaveripoompattinam [Poompuhar] and the story of Tamil epic “Silappathikaram” about Kovalan and Kannagi was be established from there.
Ram Sethu row continues to simmer, the DMK government is headed for another controversy, and this one set in the backdrop of the historic Poompuhar town is in Nagapattinam district. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and state archaeology department have accused the government of arm twisting them into giving a ‘no objection’ certificate’ (NOC) for a Union government-funded Rs 40-crore fishing harbour at Poompuhar that could destroy the ruins of the ancient Chola port city, lying at a depth of eight metres under the sea. Archaeologists have refused to issue NOC for the proposed project since “the site chosen has several on and offshore archaeological structures.” The firm stand taken by the ASI/state archaeology officials could be attributed to the underwater images captured by National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) when it carried out a site scan immediately after the tsunami and reconnaissance survey in 2006. These exclusive images and video film are available with the Newspapers in Chennai. Interestingly, fisheries commissioner Shambu Kallolikar in his March 19 letter to the state archaeology principal commissioner S Gurumurthy claimed monuments identified by NIOT were buried at a distance of four to five km from the shoreline and at a depth of more than 50 feet. “They’re old. He’s not aware about recent surveys. The structures are less than half-a-kilometer and they lie at a depth of seven to 11 meters. The fisheries commissioner’s claim is based on villagers’ opinion, not scientific data,” archaeological sources said. Shambu in his letter played to popular sentiments to justify the harbour site saying “it would protect the Poompuhar village from sea erosion.”
Fisheries Department was not interested in protecting the submerged temples under the sea.
What upset ASI/state archaeology officials was the blunt comment by a top official of the fisheries department during a meeting in March. “He said it was more important to ensure livelihood to the living rather than protecting submerged temples and vihars constructed by dead people. We’re shocked,” sources said.
Buddhists Vihar and Temples are under the Seawater.
Former director of the state archaeology department Natana Kasinathan, who attended the meeting, said: “I made it clear. If the site had some archaeological structures, then the harbour has to be shelved.”
His opinion assumes significance since the five underwater surveys undertaken during his tenure between 1991 and 1997 had unearthed a shipwreck, lead ingots and six man-made structures at Poompuhar. “No construction can happen in 200 to 300 meters of monuments of archaeological importance. It’s not possible to construct the harbour since several archaeological structures are strewn around the site,” sources said, adding the structures discovered by NIOT needed further studies. “They’re huge in size. They’re also covered with bio fouling. Only when you remove the fouling, we will know if the structures are parts of Buddhist vihars, temples or a row of houses,” they said.
On March 12,2001 U.N. Secretary General Kofi Amman, in Pakistan on a tour of the region, expressed outrage over the demolition of 1500 year old Buddha statues by Afghanistan Taliban rulers. Amman also told that the destruction of two ancient Buddhist statues in central Afghanistan as “a disservice to both Afghanistan and Islam.”
Particularly in India there are no leaders available to express their resentment in demolishing values of ancient structures.