Centrally Protected Monuments :Site-Specific Limits
The 100-metre radius around Centrally protected monuments where construction is prohibited could be replaced with site-specific limits to be decided by an expert committee, as the Union Culture Ministry was working on amendments to the relevant Act.
- The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958, was amended in 2010 to declare the 100-metre radius of protected monuments as prohibited areas and the next 300-metre radius as regulated areas.
- However, according to Ministry officials as well as a recent Parliamentary Standing Committee report, there was no specific reason for the 100-metre and 300-metre limits.
- The proposed amendment would change Section 20A of the Act, which refers to the prohibited area, to rationalise the prohibited and regulated areas. Expert monument committees would decide the prohibited area around a monument.
- These areas could be as wide as 500 metres for some sites like the Taj Mahal.
- The amendment would also enable the ASI to act against encroachment by holding the relevant authorities liable in case of illegal buildings at a protected site, the official said.
- This would be similar to the enforcement powers under the Indian Forest Act.