Following an amendment in the Archaeology Act in March 2010, about 780 notices/demolition orders have been issued till date. However, not even a single demolition has been carried out at any of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-protected monument/site.
"The ASI has succeeded in removing encroachment from 24 monuments. The committee is surprised to note that not even a single encroachment could be demolished out of the 780 demolition notices/ orders issued," observed the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture. The committee is headed by CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury.
"The committee is also aware of the apathy of the civic authorities, local police and other agencies. The ASI has no power to ensure compliance for such orders. Even court orders were ignored at times," the 192nd report of the committee, presented in the Rajya Sabha on May 3, said.
It said a possibility of a nexus between vested interests, private parties and civic and police authorities cannot be ruled out.