The year 2010 has started on a good note for the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
It has finally got two plots of land for ‘care and maintenance’ in the vicinity of centrally protected monuments.
A piece of one acre land is near Siri Fort adjoining its existing Children’s Museum.
The other land — 13 acres — is near Humayun’s Tomb in Nizamuddin.
While for the first plot, the ASI was at loggerheads with the Delhi Development Authority, in the latter, it was fighting for removing encroachment by Delhi State Bharat Scouts and Guides.
The ASI had earlier fought a long legal battle to claim half-an-acre of land on which the DDA had built a concrete building to be used as an officers’ club.
The building was handed over to the ASI, which opened a children’s museum there to create awareness among youngsters about heritage.
“An additional one acre of land was handed over to us last week. We now plan to use the space for life-size replicas of popular images like the Buddha statue at Sarnath or Anant Sheshshayi Vishnu idol near Lalitpur in Madhya Pradesh or Rudrashiva in Chhattisgarh,” said K.K. Muhammed, the ASI Delhi circle chief.
The land, which the ASI took over on Friday, has been given to the ASI for “care and maintenance”, he confirmed and not on ownership basis.
Similarly, the ASI received possession of 13 acres of land on the north of Humayun’s Tomb in Nizamuddin area.
The land was occupied by Delhi State Bharat Scouts and Guides for almost three decades.
This land too was given to the ASI last week.
The ASI will also develop the place, defaced by continuous occupation and at times commercial use, as part of the ongoing conservation project being carried out by the Aga Khan Trust for the area.