The Delhi Metro would not stop its work on the Janpath stretch despite a "stop work" notice issued by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for violating heritage laws while connecting the new route with the Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate corridor.
According to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) sources, they cannot afford to delay the project as it would escalate the cost and cause inconvenience for the commuters in view of traffic diversions on the stretch.
The DMRC proposal is yet to get clearance from the National Monument Authority (NMA), mandatory in view of it's proximity to several centrally protected monuments. However, the government has not yet formed the NMA.
"The ASI was kept in loop all through. Our proposal is pending for several months at the NMA level," said a DMRC official. In its reply seeking withdrawal of the ASI notice, the DMRC on Friday pointed out that it had initiated construction work after it received all requisite approvals, including clearance by Group of Ministers and also a go ahead from the competent authority for Delhi.
Meanwhile, ASI officials said they would take further action depending on DMRC's reply even as they have lodged a police complaint.
"If the reply is not satisfactory or they continue with the work, a showcause notice would be issued. If DMRC does not stop, a demolition notice would be issued before taking punitive measures," said an ASI official.