Shalender Kalra reports from Nahan: The geological survey of India (GSI) has begun the efforts to restore the past glory of known fossil park Saketi about 22kms away from here. This fossil park was struggling for its survival since a long time but now geological survey of India has given hope for its revival. As per as the information the director general of GSI P.M. Tejale would lay a foundation stone for the construction of museum at the estimated cost of more than crore. About 2.5 millions old fossil of animals found in the Shiwalik ranges would be put in this museum.
Though the small museum existed at Saketi but due to the dearth of space the fossil was not put in the proper manner. Despite the poor condition of the fossil park the number of visitors never declined. It is worthwhile to mention here that this park once was considered best Fossil Park in the Asia. As per as the further information in next phase the geological survey of India wanted to construct an auditorium and complex for researchers. The state government had provided 2 bighas and 16-biswa land to GSI for construction of museum with international standards. According to further information the six life models of animals would also be repaired in the park in couple of months. This park remained in apathetic condition since a long time but now GSI seems to be serious in restoring the past glory of this park. About few years back local villagers had alleged that the fossils were shifted to some other places due to the non-availability of space inside the small museum. Fortunately the state government has also improved road condition of Kala amb-Saketi recently otherwise there was no proper road connectivity to reach this place since a long years .BJP leaders Shayma Sharma said that the construction of the road was in the top priority of the BJP government as it was a monument of nation interest.
Currently rare collection of vertebrate fossils recovered from Shiwalik hills in Saketi and adjacent area is displayed in a small museum in the park. The site was developed to give a glimpse of terrestrial life during the Plio-Pleistocene period (about 2.5 million years ago) through massive forestation, which has provided a green cover to the Saketi Fossil Park besides enhancing scenic beauty. Fossils which would be displayed in the proposed museum include skulls, teeth, jaws, horn cores, limb bone fragments, vertebrae, etc. of various animal groups mainly mammalian, reptilian and fish. Among mammals, the fossils of proboscids (elephants), equids (horses), Hippopotamus, Rhinocerocerotids, bovids (cattle and antelopes), cervids (deer), suids (pigs), giraffids and carnivores are the common exhibits. There is also a large collection of stone artefacts used by Early Palaeolithic Man and collected from the vicinity. Collections in the museum would periodically be updated.
When contacted, the Deputy director general GSI Mr. Amitabh Rajdan said that in the first phase the museum building would be constructed. He added that director general would lay the foundation stone of which on Saturday. He was also agreed the development of this park was in the priority of the GSI.