Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Another Dam Construction, Another Crime Against Iranian Heritage

LONDON, May 10 2006(CAIS) -- Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) has said that with the commissioning the newly-built dam ’Jareh’ in Ramhormuz, Khuzestan province, whose construction has shown 80 percent progress, an 1,700-year old Sasanid Hormuz Dam, will be submerged. According to the Persian daily ’Iran’, the Sasanid dam, which is 19 meters high and has a crown of 80 meters, is situated 20 kms from Ramhormuz on the Zard (yellow) River. The ancient dam has aqueducts as well as sewers and an ancient laundry is located nearby. The dam also used to irrigate surrounding farmlands.
Director of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department in Ramhormuz, Fardin Bigdeli said that Ministry of Energy has built a reservoir dam in the area without conducting relevant studies and coordinating the operations with the ICHTO. He said that several farmers have been forced to abandon the area because of the construction of the new dam. That is why no one can claim that the dam would benefit agriculture, Bigdeli added.
“Ministry of Energy on behalf of of the regime is responsible for conducting research on every project before implementing them, but, they did not do so in the case of Jareh Dam. After the ICHTO objected to the ministry against the project, they agreed to hire consultants to study the complaint but practical steps have not yet been taken in this respect.“
He praised the skills of the Iranians during the Sasanid dynasty which culminated in the construction of the dam. “The Iranian engineers during the Sasanian dynasty conducted studies before selecting the location of the dam. Modern science and technology will also confirm the correctness of their decision,“ he stated.
Bigdeli said that the construction of the 1,700-year dam is arduous enough given the strength of construction materials applied in the structure. He said that egg yolks have been used in the material in addition to plaster and lime. He stated that houses built in the neighborhood of the ancient dam relate to the Safavid dynastic era (1502-1736 CE) and all these structures will go under water once the newly-built dam is filled with water.
The official noted that the Sasanid dam was registered on the ICHTO cultural heritage list in 1999 and the organization is responsible for its protection. He said that experts believe that superior technology is required to save the Sasanid dam, but the Ministry of Energy acting on behalf of the government has prevented photography in the area.
The ministry has promised to hire consultants to look into ways of prevent the ancient dam from being submerged, but, since no action has been taken yet, the ICHTO will recruit consultants for the purpose at the expense of Ministry of Energy, he concluded.


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