The National Monument Authority (NMA) on Monday cleared the multi-level parking near the Kasturba Gandhi Marg, but with certain conditions.
The clearance comes almost three years after work for the project was stopped following a notice by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in April 2010.
The notice came after an amendment in the archaeological act and because the site falls within regulated area of the medieval step well Agrasen Ki Baoli, a protected monument.
"Yes, a conditional approval has been given," confirmed Himanshu Prabha Ray, NMA chairperson, but he refused to divulge details. NMA sources said the project had two blocks -- a multi-level parking and a commercial space for office use. "We have restricted the height of the commercial block to 21 metres."
"The NMA has considered it a parking project and not a commercial one. The focus is to ease congestion, not add to it," the sources added.
Among the reasons why the proposal, submitted to the NMA near the end of 2011, was pending was the absence of heritage byelaws. Keeping in mind its proximity to the step well, the NMA had asked the project proponent to get an impact assessment of the project done.
Earlier, water and traffic experts had reiterated the need for a relook at the project. The Central Ground Water Board data has already shown how the water table in the area, and in the step well, has drastically gone down, resulting in the drying of the baoli, since 2010. "The baoli needs to be revived. Rainwater does not reach it anymore and the entire catchment is concretised. Is there any need to add to the concretisation?" a water expert had asked.
Traffic and transport experts too had pointed out possible problems.