Himachal seeks amendments to archaeological act

July 1st, 2012 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Shimla, July 1 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh has demanded an amendment to the central archaeological act to enable the state to build or renovate structures near ancient and protected monuments, an official said here Sunday.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, apprising him about the problems the people and the government are facing due to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, a government spokesperson told IANS.

The act and its rules — the National Monuments Authority Rules, 2011, and the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Rules, 2011, — prohibit construction or renovation of buildings within a 100-metre radius of monuments declared as ancient and protected.

The hill state has 40 protected monuments spread over eight of the 12 districts.

“The act has been passed with the objective of protecting and preserving the heritage but these are turning out to be against the very spirit of culture, heritage conservation and preservation,” Dhumal said in his letter to the prime minister.

He said the provisions were acting as a barrier in the day-to-day living of the people who were major stakeholders.

“The act/rules provided that no civic activity, including providing drainage, construction/repair of a school or hospital can happen within the radius of 100 meters from the outer boundary of the acquired land of a protected monument.”

The state assembly had unanimously passed a resolution Dec 21 last year, asking for amendments to the act.

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