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Andhra Pradesh Govt On Rs 20,000-Cr Treasure Hunt Outside Secretariat

Hyderabad, Feb 21: Heavy earthmoving equipments were pressed into action on Monday inside a school premises opposite the state government secretariat here in search of a hidden treasure, crudely estimated at around Rs 20,000 crore

India TV News Desk [ Updated: February 21, 2012 11:57 IST ]
andhra pradesh govt on rs 20 000 cr treasure hunt outside
andhra pradesh govt on rs 20 000 cr treasure hunt outside secretariat

Hyderabad, Feb 21: Heavy earthmoving equipments were pressed into action on Monday inside a school premises opposite the state government secretariat here in search of a hidden treasure, crudely estimated at around Rs 20,000 crore by people who are yet to set their eyes on the same.


The excavation  began on Sunday and continued on Monday as the school was closed for Mahashivratri.

The 100-year-old school is built on the land  near  Naubat Pahad, a hill on which the Birla Temple has been constructed. City  historians say there was a small cave in the hillside.

The tunnel is said to be 12 ft by 12 ft and Prof P Channa Reddy, state Treasure Trove Officer, is supervising the heavily guarded excavation work.



According to sources, construction workers while digging a mound found out a tunnel and few steps leading to Iron Gate after the steps which look like a treasure trove.
 
Some schoolchildren, out of curiosity, came to know about the tunnel and ventured into it.

It is said that the son of T B Raju, Chief Manager (Personnel) Coal India Limited, who is studying in the Vidyaranya School told his father about the booty that he and his friends saw through a key hole of  the iron door.

The news about a hidden treasure started spreading like wildfire.

Meanwhile, the state Archaeology Department received a sworn affidavit from nine prominent citizens led by T B Raju, stating that they had reliable information of a treasure in a hidden tunnel.
 
They said they got the information about two months ago but couldn't muster enough courage to reveal it to officials concerned fearing the mafia and the unscrupulous treasure hunters.

Based on the affidavit, a team of officials from the Archaeology Department inspected the site on Saturday evening and decided to start excavation on Sunday morning in the presence of a mason, who will serve as a guide.

                          

People around the school are saying that the mason was the first person to have gone inside the tunnel and reportedly saw two almirahs full of jewels and precious stones.

Dr Mohammad Safiullah, a city historian said this could be one of the bunkers built by the rich during world wars.
 
 “Many rich families had built bunkers during World War II to escape air strikes by Japan. One such bunker was unearthed near the Home Science College in Saifabad.”

Similar bunkers were also found in the Mint Compound, where the State Bank of Hyderabad headquarters is now located. 

“But when these iron safes were recovered from these bunkers all of them were empty,” he added.

The  building in which the school is being operated belongs to the heirs of Wanaparthi Samsthan which, at one point of time, owned more than one lakh acres.

And its royal members were very rich.

This gives credence to the theory that a royal member had stashed away jewels and precious stones in the Naubat Pahad bunker.
 
Raju said he showed the crevice to some of his friends and they too agreed there could be an underground structure.

“We met Archaeology Director P Chenna Reddy and convinced him that based on the historical background of the site, they should at least investigate,” Raju said.

“Raju and his friends could not pinpoint the place where they claim to have seen the opening to an underground structure,” Archaeology Director P Chenna Reddy told The Indian Express.

“Out of curiosity and to set all speculation at rest, we are digging at several places where they think there are undergound chambers containing gold hidden by former rulers. So far we have not come up with anything.”

He added that they would try “one last time” at a site near the Home Science College where construction workers had hit upon a tunnel recently. However, it wasn't found leading to anything.

“NMDC officials have agreed to provide some scanning equipment so that we don't have to dig up unnecessarily,” Reddy added.

However, experts feel Reddy shouldn't have acted in such haste on the basis of what Rama Raju and his friends claimed to have seen.

“If these people saw something a year ago and thought there was gold buried there, why didn't they approach the authorities then? Why now?” asked P Anuradha Reddy, INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), member, Hyderabad.

As workers could not make much progress Sunday, heavy earth-moving machines were pressed into service today.

It being a school holiday due to Mahashivaratri, the students at least were not inconvenienced.

People around the school are saying that the mason was the first person to have gone inside the tunnel and reportedly saw two almirahs full of jewels and precious stones.

Dr Mohammad Safiullah, a city historian said this could be one of the bunkers built by the rich during world wars.

“Many rich families had built bunkers during World War II to escape air strikes by Japan. One such bunker was unearthed near the Home Science College in Saifabad.”

Similar bunkers were also found in the Mint Compound, where the State Bank of Hyderabad headquarters is now located. 

“But when these iron safes were recovered from these bunkers all of them were empty,” he added.

The  building in which the school is being operated belongs to the heirs of Wanaparthi Samsthan which, at one point of time, owned more than one lakh acres.

And its royal members were very rich.

This gives credence to the theory that a royal member had stashed away jewels and precious stones in the Naubat Pahad bunker.

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