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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Centrally Protected Monuments

            The Minister for Culture and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja has said that ancient and historical monuments and sites are declared centrally protected as of national importance by the Central Government. The criterion for such declaration as laid down under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 is that it is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and which has been in existence for not less than one hundred years. The State Governments also declare monuments as protected under their respective Acts.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today Kumari Selja said, there are 3,677 monuments/sites declared as of national importance in the country. The State-wise/UT wise list is at Annexure-I. These monuments/sites are in a fairly good state of preservation.

She said, the expenditure incurred on conservation, preservation and environmental development, including providing of tourist amenities on centrally protected monuments/sites in the country, during the last three years and the allocation for the current year is at Annexure-II.

Kumari Selja said, in addition to conservation, preservation, maintenance and development of environs in and around centrally protected monuments, providing amenities (e.g. drinking water, toilets, facilities for physically challenged, pathways, cultural notice boards/signage, vehicle parking, cloak rooms, etc.) to the tourists visiting the monuments and sites are also regular activities which the Archaeological Survey of India undertakes, as per needs and resources. Basic public facilities are available at all World Heritage Sites and ASI’s ticketed monuments, as also at the majority of those protected monuments that are visited by large numbers of tourists.  Archaeological Survey of India has deployed regular watch & ward staff, and has engaged the services of private security guards and State Police personnel for the safety and protection of  centrally protected monuments and the tourists visiting the monuments/sites. In addition, CISF personnel have been deployed at Taj Mahal, Agra and Red Fort, Delhi. The expenditure incurred towards security at centrally protected monuments/sites during the last three years and current year is as under:
                                                                                                            Rupees in lakhs
(upto July,2012)

The revenue earned through entry fee on centrally protected monuments/sites during each of the last three years are as under:
                                                                                                        Rupees in crores
* provisional

              The Minister said, the conservation, preservation and maintenance of centrally protected monuments/sites is a continuous process as per archaeological norms and subject to availability of resources.  As and when an encroachment is noticed by the field office of Archaeological Survey of India, FIR is lodged with the local police followed by Show Cause Notice by the Archaeological Survey of India to the offender. As all the Superintending Archaeologist of the Circles are also vested with the powers of Estate Officer, action is also initiated under Public Premises (Eviction of Un-authorized occupants) Act, 1971, wherever applicable.   Non compliance of the Show Cause Notice is followed by demolition order to the offender as well as the District Collector/Magistrate to cause removal of such encroachment within a specified period.  In certain specific cases, ASI also avails of the last option to file litigation against the encroachers before the appropriate Court of Law.


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