The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Friday, July 23, denied DMK MP Kanimozhi’s claim that the Adichanallur heritage site in Tamil Nadu had no amenities such as boundary walls, drinking water, toilets, or solar lighting. ASI tweeted, “We Archaeological Survey of India is working sincerely towards making Adichannallur an iconic site. The entire notified area of 125 acres is protected by a steel grill fence. Cultural Notice Board (CNB) and information board for visitors are affixed on the site. Toilet, lighting and drinking water facilities are being provided. Land for Museum and other amenities are being worked out with the cooperation of the State Government”. The ASI also published photos from the Adichannallur site, showcasing that it is gated and safeguarded.

ASI took to Twitter after Kanimozhi tweeted, “Yesterday in Parliament I was astonished by the reply I got to an unstarred question by minister G Kishan Reddy. You have mentioned walls and toilets being built around the heritage site, drinking water, and solar-powered lights being installed. But unfortunately, we are not able to see or find any of them? And we would prefer that you build the museum first.” The development began after the government’s unstarred response to a DMK MP’s query about whether the government has begun creating the landmark site project and onsite museum in Adichanallur, Tamil Nadu, as planned in the Budget 2020-21.

G Kishan Reddy, Minister of Tourism and Culture, remarked in Parliament that, “For the development of Adichannalur as an iconic site, the following works are done/undertaken: repairing of boundary wall, providing public amenities such as toilets, drinking water, solar-powered lights, illumination, souvenir shops, cafeteria, audio-visual guides, public display board, information boards, pathway tourist circulation etc.” According to the ministry, exposition and excavation of chosen areas of the site for open-air display of trenches and artefacts are currently buried under the ground whenever required.

The minister said, “Construction of on-site museum and/or interpretation centre to facilitate visitors to understand the nature of the sire and its features in an immersive manner is being proposed in consultation with the state government.” In September 2020, Kanimozhi and Madurai MP Su Venkatesan, together with writer Kamarasu, paid a visit to the ancient sites. The Adhichanallur excavation began in 2004 and yielded 169 clay burial urns with skeletons in 2005, but the Archaeological Survey of India did not make the report public.