Cultural Postcards + [South Asia]

India: Quarrying destroys megalithic dolmens in Thrissur
Large scale-quarrying has destroyed megalithic dolmens situated in forest area in Muniyattukunnu of Varantharappilly near Thrissur.

Quarrying destroys megalithic dolmens in Thrissur
The only dolmen that stands intact at Muniyattukunnu. The rest have been 
destroyed by quarrying in the area [Credit: The Hindu]

“Muniyattukunnu was famous for its dolmens, which were declared as protected monument as per Government proceeding dated 13-10-1937 RDIS 1894-2-1112 development department and in accordance with Cochin Government Ancient Monument Preservation Regulation Act XI of 110,” said Muniyattukunnu Protection Forum, which tries for the protection of the remaining dolmens.

These monuments are mostly in reserved forest of Vellikulanagara range under Chalakudy forest division.

Forest pattayam (title deed) has been used to encroach up on forest land by quarry mafia, alleged the protesters. The forest land assignment pattayam, where only agrarian activities are permitted is widely used for quarrying activities here, noted the forum led by the Kerala Shastra Sahithya Parishath.

As per the document available with Archaeological department only one out of 11 dolmens in the area is remaining now.

A study by the Kerala Shastra Sahithya Parishath shows that Rs. 36 crore has been generated by quarrying from this area.

A team from the district administration led by sub collector carried out a joint inspection on June 21. The team found widespread violations of rules and issued instant stop memos to quarries functioning in Muniyattukunnu, the forum noted. There was also an order for a joint survey by the revenue and forest departments.

However, stop memos were vacated within two weeks by a court order. The joint survey is still pending. Quarry and crusher owners are extending their premises.

The Muniyattukunnu Protection Forum headed by the KSSP has once again approached the district Collector seeking the protection of this valuable historical site.

The forum urged the authorities to issue stop notice to all the quarries running in the area.

“The stone quarrying is now being carried out in the land where pattas are issued as per the Kerala Land Assignment Special Rules 1993. According to Rule 3 the land cannot be used for quarrying purpose. So the authorities should take action to cancel the pattas for the land in which quarries are operational,” it demanded.

Author: Mini Muringatheri | Source: The Hindu [December 10, 2014]