LARKANA: The department of archaeology has called for urgent attention towards conservation and restoration work at Mohenjo Daro apprehending that the site may be removed from the world heritage list if such work was not carried out.

Sources said on Saturday that archaeological ruins of Mohenjo Daro had received record rains, measured at 779.5mm, which continued from Aug 16 to 26. It resulted in considerable damage to the site and partial falling of several walls, including the protection wall of the stupa dome.

It was learnt that the curator of the site in his Aug 29 letter to the director culture, antiquities and archaeology said “we have put in efforts to protect the site with our resources”. The role of other departments — irrigation, roads, highways and forest — was quite essential for safeguarding the world heritage site, as landlords and farmers had not only inserted pipes and given cuts to canals and roads to release water into Mohenjo Daro’s channel. However, due to negligence on the part of above-mentioned departments, the rainwater from nearby agriculture lands had filled disposal channel, the sources said.

This caused delay in driving out water from the site, the letter said, adding that water had entered even into the campus. After rains, the official concerned at the site had said: “We are facing another emergency in the shape of a consatnt rise in the Indus level.”

Walls of several structures crumbling after rains; urgent repair required, authorities informed

Although water level in Indus is low, due to the construction of metal road on the protection dyke near Mohenjo Daro, paired with occurrence of fissures, cavities and dangerous gullies, the department had approached local irrigation officials but in vain, according to the letter. No one had turned up to inspect the site and assess the situation, it said.

The archaeology official had called for immediate contact with the irrigation and roads departments for the repair of bund, breached canal dykes and removal of pipes.

The curator has proposed sending of experts (conservators and engineers) for an assessment of the damage caused to the site during downpours. Presently, the archaeology officials posted at Mohenjo Daro are busy repairing the damaged portions of the structures.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2022

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