Govt to bring Ordinance on constructions near monuments

Govt to bring Ordinance on constructions near monuments

The 'Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment & Validation) Ordinance, 2010' was cleared by the Union Cabinet and is being sent to President Pratibha Patil for approval, sources said.

The government's move comes in the wake of the Archaeological Survey of India issuing show-cause notices to civic agencies in connection with construction activities at and around 92 protected structures like Red Fort, Hauz Khas, Humayun's Tomb and Siri Fort.
The ASI issued notices to several agencies including the DMRC and the Commonwealth Games Committee, over the structures constructed within prohibited areas in centrally protected monuments on December 17.
The Ordinance will provide for flexibility on constructions depending on the necessity, the sources said.

The High Court had set January 29 as the deadline for the government to respond to a judgement relating to protection of monuments.
In its order, the Delhi HC had declared all 171 permissions granted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) "invalid" and directed the government and the ASI to initiate steps to remove the violations.

The permissions were granted by the ASI and the high-level committee constituted by it, comprising historians and town planners, but they stand null and void following the court order.

The committee had received 150 applications seeking relaxation of norms in Delhi alone and it had granted permission in 117 cases.
Overall 171 structures across the country, granted permissions for construction by the committee, were declared illegal and were issued notices.