Fate of 'national protected' monuments hangs in limbo

Fate of 'national protected' monuments hangs in limbo

Are heritage sites of national importance really ‘protected’ in the capital?

While the tall claims of the Archaeological Survey of India of preserving historical monuments fail flat, the municipal corporations just do not seem interested in shifting dumping yards that lie adjacent to the entry gates of such structures.

One such example is the Asokan Edict, a national importance monument in south Delhi, which was illegally found locked from outside. The law states that no site across the country except the Red Fort and Taj Mahal can be closed throughout the week. The Red Fort closes on Monday and Taj Mahal on Friday.

Asokan Edict that lie near Bahapur village is an important record of the Mauryan emperor Asoka (273-36 BC). It is engraved on a tilted rock-face in ten lines of Brahmi in the Prakrit language.

There is a garbage dumpyard at the entry gate of the heritage site. A protection board is fixed at the gate which says the monument has been declared to be of “national importance” under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958.

The historical structure falls under the limits of South Delhi Municipal Corporation. “There have been no requests to remove the dumpyard. If the local resident welfare association requests us we can relocate it,” said SDMC spokesperson Mukesh Yadav.

Locals said the monument remains closed for almost three to four days a week.

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