The New Indian Express has published an article Heritage structures in Karnataka lie in a state of ruin, this also mentions Belagavi.
The article states that the Belagavi district has more than 36 heritage structures of national importance and hundreds of historically important sites. Temple ruins, palaces, forts such as the historical Belagavi Fort – where at least 10 rulers including Rattas, Vijayanagara, Adilshahi, Marathas, Mughals, Peshwas, and British ruled – are crying for attention.
The article further throws light on the dilapidated condition of the Belagavi Fort.
The walls of the fort are in dilapidated condition. The Fort stands in Belagavi Cantonment Board limits, with the Mahar Regiment battalion office located inside. The ancient Kamal Basadi built in the 12th century and Safa Masjid are also situated inside the Fort. Initially, Belagavi Smart City Ltd chalked out a plan to restore Belagavi Fort and its moat to turn it into a tourist destination. But due to non-cooperation of the Defence Ministry and lack of political will, the project is yet to take off. The government made a budgetary allocation of Rs 1 crore to restore the fort.
Fort moat development –
BSCL has prepared an action plan with an estimated cost of Rs 25 crore plan giving the title ‘fort and moat’ to it in the first phase on a priority basis. Provisions have been made to beautify the fort from the inside, the open areas in the fort which is spread over in 1 km radius. The moat surrounded the fort is planned to be clean and rejuvenated.
But the Cantonment board is not giving permission for the same and the entire process is been delayed as the files have been sent to the center for clearance. This is a very ambitious project which can change the entire landscape of tourism in Belagavi.
But since day one the Defense Department has not given clearance for the development of the fort nor is it also cleaning the fort. The Moat and the walls are filled up with shrubs and many sides of the walls are falling down.
If on priority the work of the development is taken the 800+ year-old fort can get back its grandeur.
Historian Professor Smita Surebankar says, “We cannot always expect the government to take up restoration and maintenance. There is a need for public-private partnership, like the restoration of Somnath Temple in Laxmeshwar by Infosys Foundation. Panchayats also have the responsibility. Moreover, awareness of heritage has to be created among students.”