Snapticle

ENCROACHMENT OF HERITAGE STRUCTURES

Context - 

According to Tourism and Culture Minister Kishan Reddy, encroachments have affected 356 historic buildings around the nation.

Kishan Reddy, the tourism and culture minister, informed the Rajya Sabha that 356 historic buildings nationwide had been encroached upon. 

Details:

  • The state of Uttar Pradesh, closely followed by Tamil Nadu, has the most number of Centrally Protected Monuments that have been invaded.
  • Tamil Nadu has 412 Centrally Protected Monuments, whereas Uttar Pradesh has 743, making it the state with the most in the nation.
  • Across the nation, encroachments have affected 356 such heritage buildings.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India is responsible for safeguarding 3,695 Centrally Protected Monuments or Sites across the nation (ASI).
  • The ASI authorities frequently check the monuments to evaluate their current state. Work on necessary restoration and preservation projects is undertaken as needed.
  • The Ancient Sites and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Act of 2010 is a piece of legislation that the ASI uses to control building near protected monuments. The Act forbids development within 100 meters of a monument that is protected.
  • The next 300-meter radius is also constrained. Under the Act that protects monuments and places older than 100 years, proposed modifications would eliminate the prohibition on development within 100 meters of a monument and control construction within 100-200 meters.
  • This should give the ASI additional authority over encroachments.

1958, Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR):

  • The Act was introduced to protect the nation's cultural heritage.
  • The Act's primary goal is to save important historical and archaeological sites and ancient monuments.
  • The statute also governs archaeological digs and the preservation of carvings, sculptures, and other artefacts.
  • Under the guidelines of this statute, the Archaeological Survey of India conducts its operations.
  • In order to avoid encroachments and unauthorized buildings near the monuments, the Act was revised in 2010 to reinforce its penalty measures.
  • Within 100 meters of national monuments, no construction was allowed. Beyond that, 200 meters is designated as a "controlled area".
  • The amendment also brought heritage bye-laws, which a professional organization for each monument must create.
  • The Act was again changed in 2017 to allow the Union Government to expand the forbidden area past National Monuments by 100 meters.
  • The building is allowed in banned zones if specific requirements are met.
  • In the past, development in "prohibited regions" was not allowed, even if it served public needs.
  • The 2017 changes this clause to allow public development projects in "prohibited regions."
  • The National Monuments Authority will be consulted whenever there is any uncertainty over a construction project that falls under "public works." It will advise the Union government.
  • The Union government's decision is final.

Source: TH 

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