"You cannot see the graves from outside. They are tucked away in a corner inside a crumbling structure."
The ASI has declined to provide no objection certificate for metro tracks near the cemeteries in commercial hubs Kaiserbagh and Aminabad.
Lucknow has 18 such cemeteries and many of the graves are unmarked, without epitaphs.
"I have to discharge my duties within the framework of law," said PK Mishra, the superintending archaeologist of ASI's Lucknow circle.
The ASI does have a provision for de-notifying sites and structures that have lost historical relevance or can no longer be preserved due to fund crunch.