All stakeholders would get a chance to share their views on the proposed new line of the Delhi metro joining Central Secretariat and Kashmere Gate.
The DMRC has sent its proposal for the new line to the competent authority-designated after an amendment in the Archaeological Act in 2010-who plans to involve stakeholders in the decision making process. The proposed line manoeuvres through a heritage corridor with a number of ASI-protected monuments.
As first reported by HT on February 7, the alignment proposed by the DMRC-Central Secretariate-Janpath-Mandi House-ITO-Delhi Gate-Red Fort-Kashmere Gate-have raised concerns about the route. The entire 9-kilometre stretch is proposed to be underground.
After an amendment in the Archaeological Act, any construction near a protected site now requires clearance from a competent authority, which in turn, forwards it to the National Monument Authority (NMA). The NMA, likely to be formed only by March end, will weigh the proposal with respect to monument specific heritage bye-laws-again, yet to be formulated-only after which the decision can be taken.
Designated competent authority Vijay Singh said, "The alignment will be examined from the point of view of heritage structures." He added, "We would take into consideration the views of the residents, the traders' associations and also those of local representatives."
Earlier lines did not see this kind of consultation. Said DMRC spokesperson, "We have held more than 200 public meetings/consultations as part of community interaction programme since phase I." Singh further added, "The proposed line should improve the environment around the heritage site and their accessibility."
Simultaneously checking of the factual ground position will be carried out with help from ASI Delhi circle office. DMRC officials have made it clear that since the stretch is underground, tracks can be laid without disturbing the heritage sites.