Apropos announcements about traffic diversion on Janpath ahead of the work for the proposed Metro line, both the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the National Monument Authority (NMA) on Friday sought details about proposed work.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) proposed line connecting Central Secretariat to Kashmere Gate via Janpath, Mandi House, ITO and Red Fort, passes through a number of ASI-protected monuments.
No new construction can be allowed within 100 metres of such monuments (prohibited area) while for further 101-300 metres (regulated area), there are several restrictions and work can be taken up only after NMA clears the proposal.
The DMRC proposal is still pending with the NMA after the competent authority for Delhi, appointed under the provisions of the amendment in the Archaeological Act last year, referred it with positive recommendations in August.
A large chunk of the Janpath stretch, where work for the underground Janpath station would be carried out, specially that near the Tolstoy Marg-Janpath crossing, falls within 300 metres (regulated areas) of the ASI-protected 17th century Jantar Mantar.
Sources within the ASI said “as and when ‘unauthorised construction’ is noticed, a police complaint would be duly lodged in connection with it”. The traffic police have blocked around 300 metres stretch of Janpath from the Tolstoy Marg-Janpath crossing up to the Eastern Court/ Western Court. However, traffic restrictions would be applicable for the stretch starting from Windsor Place till the Tolstoy Marg-Janpath crossing from Saturday.
The ASI director general Gautam Sengupta said, “We have asked our superintending archaeologist and the NMA member secretary to give details about this. We have also written to the DMRC asking for details.” The NMA, in turn, has sought ‘status report’ from the competent authority for Delhi (CA) and the superintending archaeologist (in charge of Delhi monuments).
“The proposal has not yet been cleared. (So) either the CA or the SA should issue the stop work notice,” said Pravin Shrivastava, NMA member-secretary. Meanwhile, the Metro officials have maintained that they would start work sometime next week as they are awaiting permission from the New Delhi Municipal Council.