New Delhi, Mar. 17:
Permission has been granted for over 280 utility projects near protected monuments across the country, Union Minister of Culture Prahlad Singh Patel informed Lok Sabha on Monday.
He also said the process of amendment to the law regarding restriction on construction work near such monuments has started.
According to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, there is a ban on construction within 100 metres of a centrally protected monument and regulated construction within 100-200 metres.
In reply to a question on whether there is a proposal to amend the law, Patel said the bill regarding the restriction of construction work near protected monuments was introduced and passed by Lok Sabha on January 2, 2018.
“The said Bill was subsequently submitted to Rajya Sabha and was referred to the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha. However, the Bill got lapsed due to dissolution of Parliament in 2019. The process of amendment has been re-initiated,” he said.
As per the information provided by the National Monuments Authority, 288 permissions were granted for utility projects near protected monuments.
There are 3,691 centrally protected monuments and sites under the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
The highest number of sites are in Uttar Pradesh at 745 monuments and sites, followed by Karnataka at 506 and Tamil Nadu at 413.
In UP, permission for 48 utility projects has been granted while as many permissions have been granted in Delhi.
In Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, permissions for 21 and seven utility projects have been granted respectively.