The memorial of Baji Prabhu Deshpande, who sacrificed his life while fighting against the Mughals in Pavankhind, is today in dire condition. Additionally as if to insult the great lieutenant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Govt officers have fructified crores by allotting the land adjoining Pawankhind for the Indira Awas Yojana. This startling news has been exposed from the documents obtained by the Special Investigation Team of Sprouts under RTI.
The Vishalgad Fort is located 76 km from Kolhapur city. The fort is really magnanimous. Taking disadvantage of its vast expanse, several illegal houses and shops have been set up in the area. Some portion of the Vishalgad falls under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and some portion is in the jurisdiction of the forest dept. Despite this, there is heavy encroachment in the area.
Under the pretext of providing houses to those who had already encroached on the land, the Indira Awas Yojana was implemented and the houses were constructed. In the scam, the officers of the ASI, Forest and other departments earned crores of rupees.
There were 55 ancient temples on Vishalgad Fort. However, due to lack of maintenance, most of them are in dire condition and only 20 to 22 temples are in a little bit of good condition. If no attention is paid they too will become extinct.
Baji Prabhu Deshpande sacrificed his life to save Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. However, today no proper way to reach his memorial is available. Also, there is no board to guide tourists about the Baji Prabhu Deshpande memorial. The government has not spent a rupee to maintain this memorial in the last 20 years, the RTI documents assessed by Sprouts revealed.
“Surprisingly, there is an illegal dargah in memory of invader Saradar Malik Rehan, who was killed by brave Mavlas. The government has reportedly spent Rs 10 lakh for the beautification of the Dargah and the work was carried out by the Public Works Department. Against this, the government has not spent a single penny on the memorial of Deshpande who strove for Swarajya and also to protect ancient temples.”