Jangaon: The north side bastion of Khileshapur Fort collapsed due to incessant rains at Khileshapur village of Raghunathpally mandal in the district on Thursday. Two houses located near the Fort were partially damaged.
According to locals, the bastion developed cracks and caved in even as people watched it happen. Some locals also captured the visuals of the collapsing bastion on the mobile phones.
Located at Quilla Shapur or Khileshapur village of Raghunathpally mandal in the district, the fort was built in the 18th century by Sarvai Papadu, popularly known as Sardar Sarvai Papanna, and the State Archaeology Department included it in the list of monuments in erstwhile Warangal district.
The then Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC) chairman Pervaram Ramulu, who is a native of Khileshapur, and the then Director of Department of Archaeology NR Visalatchi, had conducted Bhoomi Puja for renovation works at Khileshapur Fort on August 3, 2017. The State government sanctioned Rs 4.50 crore for the renovation of the fort.
As a part of this, fortification of the walls was taken up at a cost of Rs one crore and the work was also completed. Meanwhile, the archaeology department officials reportedly identified minor cracks in the bastion in the north side and prepared proposals for works costing Rs 19 lakhs to strengthen the bastion and submitted the same to District Collector K Nikhila recently as well as the State office. But the bastion collapsed before the works could be taken up to protect it.
“Fortunately, there was no movement of people near the fort wall when it collapsed on Thursday morning,” a villager said, adding that the authorities should have spent the Rs 4.50 crore sanctioned for the fortification of the walls and the bastions since it is a heritage structure.
“The lethargic officials did not bother about the protection of this fort. We are now demanding that the officials speed up strengthening and renovation works,” said Dr Suresh Devath, founder president of Society for Public Welfare and Initiatives (SPWI), an NGO. Meanwhile, the Archaeology department’s engineering staff visited the fort to take the stock of the situation.
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