An illegal hotel was under construction in Hampi near the iconic Virupaksha temple, located within the protected area of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). This was happening while the officials were busy in the preparations of Hampi Utsav.
Locals raised the alarm, and officials responded by stopping construction activity. It has been reported that construction is being carried out at night so that law enforcement and security personnel won’t be able to detect it.
There was a blast at the construction site of a new hotel four months ago, say locals. Fortunately, no damage was done to any monuments because of the explosion. According to ASI regulations, no construction of any kind, whether temporary or permanent, is permitted within 200 meters.
The administration has been aware of development activity close to the Virupaksha temple that is wholly in contravention of ASI norms. According to Deputy Commissioner T Venkatesh “I’ve given the commissioner of the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority (HWHAMA) instructions to act. I’ll go there soon,” he promised.
The team has notified the hotel owner, and a case has been filed. According to HWHAMA commissioner Siddarameshwara “According to ASI regulations, the building of any kind is prohibited within ASI-protected areas. When I arrive, the job has already been stopped.”