Rock paintings found in diamond mining project at Buxwaha forest in Chhatarpur are as old as 25,000 to 30,000 years, an Archaeological Survey of India report said on Saturday.
Some of them even belong to the times when fire wasn’t invented by humans, said the report.
The ASI report was received by one of the petitioners who has challenged the felling of over two lakh trees for the diamond project in Buxwaha with the National Green Tribunal central zone bench, Bhopal.
On the directives of the NGT and high court, the ASI had completed a survey of pre-historic rock paintings found in the wild of Buxwaha based in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh.
The report claims that three large rock paintings and Kalchuri era statues have been found in the forest. The paintings are created with red colour and are considered to the times even before the invention of fire in the human history, the report claims.
Another rock painting made out of red colour and charcoal sees a creation between the times of stone age and medieval period, it adds further. The third painting depicts pictures of war which, offers details of the human history.
In Buxwaha villages, the ASI has received statues of lord Ganesha and Hanuman besides idols pertaining to the times of Kalchuri and Chandel rulers.
The Jabalpur circle of the ASI has submitted the report to the Bhopal circle and also offered a copy of the same to the petitioner.
The petitioner PG Najpande said that the ASI report has vindicated that Buxwaha forest has many pre-historic treasures, which are to be preserved and will help us understand the cultural connect of human evolution journey.
Essel Mining Company an entity owned by Aditya Birla Group has been leased out the 364-hectare land belonging to Buxwaha forest in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh for a diamond mining project.
Several petitioners have approached the NGT and the HC claiming that the project will destroy the project and will adversely affect the ground water besides destroying pre-historic rock paintings available in the forests.
Several NGOs and wildlife volunteers have taken up cudgels against the project saying oxygen availability is much more crucial than the glittering stones.
The ASI report will be submitted to NGT and HC shortly.
(Inputs from Pratik Mohan Awasthi)