The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has rejected an ambitious proposal of Delhi government's Public Works Department (PWD) to construct a parallel Ring Road from Salimgarh fort to Yamuna Veolodrome behind Shanti Van and Rajghat.
The PWD had written to the ASI for a no objection certificate in November last year to construct the Ring Road bye-pass and decongest the road in front of Vijay Ghat, Shanti Van and Rajghat. The 8-lane road was supposed to cost Rs 500 crore and was planned on the banks of the river Yamuna.
The letter of the Superintending archaeologist to the PWD said: "The proposed construction falls in the prohibited and regulated area of Salimgarh fort and would cause obstruction in viewing the fort. As per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 and Rules 1959, construction in the prohibited area of the centrally protected monument is not permissible," said the letter.
The PWD is peeved at the denial of permission. Engineer in chief R Subramanian admitted that it was a setback as they had planned a parallel road to take away traffic from Ring Road. "We would go through the objection and see what could be done at this juncture," he said. Officials said Urban Development and PWD minister AK Walia would convene a meeting with the ASI officials soon to sort out the matter.
For every project, the PWD has to seek clearance from multiple agencies. The underpass from NH-24 (Nizamuddin bridge) to Lodhi Colony was cleared by the ASI after raising objections initially. The project, however, is yet to be cleared by the Delhi Urban Arts Commission.
PWD minister Walia wants that the necessity of multiple agencies clearing a project should be done away with for speedy completion of projects. "Most of our time is lost in pursuing these with the agencies involved," he said.
Email Amitabh Shukla: ashukla @hindustantimes.com