The Act does not allow the Govt to act

The Act does not allow the Govt to act

While the new legislation helps in protecting monuments, it is posing problems  for government and private individuals residing in the vicinity of the monuments who intend to take up development.

Ramesh Zalki, who is the competent authority to process the applications seeking permission to take up work in the regulated/prohibited areas, said he has received 123 applications ever since the Act became effective from last year.

“My office is flooded with applications from people across the State, who either want to carry out minor repairs to their existing buildings, or begin new constructions. If at all new development comes under the regulated area - 300 metres from a monument, then we grant permission.

“For those falling within the prohibited area (100 metres), no permission is granted”, said Zalki.

Some of the proposals rejected propose development in within the protected area monuments including the Hill Fort in Uchchangidurga, Harapanahalli, Panchakuta Basadi in Kambadahalli, Nagamangala; Keshava temple in Somanathapura, T Narsipura; and the fort in Madhugiri, Tumkur.

Too stringent

Replying to a question, Zalki conceded that the Act may be too stringent.
"On the one hand, the Act is ensuring that the monuments are well protected, but on the other hand, people living close to the monuments, can't even carry out repair works. In one case, because ASI didn't allow repair works in a toilet of building close to a monument, the residents haven't been able to use their own toilets for months together," he added.