Sinking Ashoka Pillar of Bezawada

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Important structures of historical significance are getting affected due to the developmental works ongoing in Vijayawada. Adding to the list of fading monuments and structures is an ancient high-level water reservoir that is highly impacted due to the construction of a retaining wall on top of the Indrakeeladri hill.

This plaque, with the inscription ‘High Level Reservoir that was unveiled by Mahatma Gandhi on 11th of April 1929 used to be first located in the vicinity of Arundal Satram or choultry along the ghat road on the Indrakeeladri. The plaque used to face river Krishna. This reservoir has now been demolished as part of retaining wall works.

The reservoir earlier used to supply drinking water to the residents of Arjuna Veedhi. The VMC then urged Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam to install a bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the vicinity to preserve the plaque in 2008. But the same has not seen the light of the day till date. The whereabouts of the plaque is also not known.

Works to demolish Ashoka Pillar began on Thursday as part of the Kanaka Durga flyover project. This pillar is quite popular as the main Ashoka pillar because of the Lion Capital of Ashoka on it. The 60-foot pillar on which the Lion Capital of Ashoka was installed was actually the chimney of the old Public Works Department (PWD) workshop that existed in the 1950s.

The pillar still stands as a sentinel to what was considered as a sole entry point to the Bezawada town. This pillar is a part of Andhra Pradesh heritage and should not be demolished, as much as the flyover project is important.



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