For those living near centrally protected monuments, here is some good news at the beginning of 2012.
The authorities have finally taken steps to come up with ‘model heritage byelaws’ for two monuments in Delhi, which will the pave way for other such structures, not just in Delhi but also across India.
The heritage byelaws include matters relating to heritage controls such as elevations, facades, drainage systems, roads and service infrastructure (including electric poles, water and sewer pipelines) for areas around such monuments.
Delhi has 174 Archeological Survey of India protected monuments, mostly situated in south Delhi areas such as Hauz Khas, Green Park, Nizamuddin, South Extension, Mehrauli and Malviya Nagar.
Scores of citizens residing around the monuments are having a harrowing time as authorities have held up their applications for repairs/renovation (for properties falling within 0-100 metres of monuments) and new constructions (for those in 101-300 metres of monuments) citing absence of heritage byelaws. No new construction is allowed within 100 metres.
Only with the heritage byelaws in place can the National Monument Authority (NMA) clear any proposals for properties within 0-300 metres.
The ASI has finally roped in the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), an NGO in the field of conservation, for preparing heritage byelaws. ASI’s joint director general Dr BR Mani has been appointed as a competent authority under Section 20(e) of the Archeological Act, amended in March, 2010, and would be acting as a coordinator for getting heritage byelaws done.
“We have identified Begumpuri Masjid and Khairul-Manzil for preparing model heritage byelaws on priority basis. A formal agreement between the ASI and INTACH will be signed soon,” said an INTACH official.
But even when the model heritage byelaws are prepared, the process would be fairly time consuming. INTACH will submit it to Delhi’s competent authority, who will submit it to the NMA.