The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has slapped a stop work notice at the ongoing work at Janpath. Work was on here for the proposed Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate corridor of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
The ASI notice comes in the wake of violation of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act 2010, which bans any new construction within 100 metres of a protected monument and puts several restrictions on construction within 101 to 300 metres.
DMRC was to start work on Janpath at several portions of the stretch and had put up barricades for diversion of traffic lies within 300 metres of Jantar Mantar. The proposal for this corridor had not yet been cleared by heritage authorities.
According to sources, the “stop work” notice was issued in the name of the contractor on Wednesday even though the ASI has been keeping regular tabs on construction activities after the director general sought details about the work from Delhi unit officials.
Kumar Keshav, DMRC’s director (project) confirmed, “ASI has given us a stop work notice. We are preparing a reply to that and hope to send it to the ASI tomorrow.”
The DMRC’s proposal for this entirely underground corridor running via Janpath, Mandi House, ITO, Dilli Gate, Jama Masjid and Red Fort is pending at the National Monument Authority (NMA) level.
The yet-to-be-constituted NMA has not yet considered the proposal as the government has failed to appoint members, both part-time and full-time, and thus of course, no meeting could be conducted.
Vijay Singh, the competent authority of Delhi, had sent his proposal to the NMA in August after ensuring that no construction on the surface comes within 100 metres of any of the centrally protected monument.