More than a year after an amendment in the archaeological act, the authorities have not even begun the baseline survey of properties around protected monuments, which is mandatory for preparing heritage bylaws.
At least 600 applications for repairs/renovations/construction from residents living around protected monuments in Delhi are pending with the authorities since the amendment in the act in March 2010. The procedural delay has led to a number of people starting construction without permission.
An amendment in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (amendment and validation) act 2010 bans any new construction within 100 metres in all directions of an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monument. Only repairs/renovations are allowed.
Jawahar Sircar, secretary, Culture, said, "We have held four major all-India meetings, with senior officers from the states and (those from) ASI. Every detail has been told to them and the ASI director general and member secretary of the NMA are to monitor each action."
Dr BR Mani, ASI spokesperson said, "The first priority would be given to government agencies such as the Survey of India. The survey work would start only after formalities (are completed)."
Delhi's competent authority Vijay Singh said, "We have already sought help from Delhi State Spatial Data Infrastructure. We would demarcate boundaries for 100 metres/300 metres with the help of photogramatic method (using aerial photography)," Singh said.
"This should not take much time and the process would start within the next few weeks," Singh added.