Amendments to the ‘Ancient Monuments Act’
Recently, the Central Government has brought a proposal to amend the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains, 1958 (AMASR, 1958). Provisions have been made in this AMASR Act to make the area around protected monuments “more flexible and friendly”.
AMASR Act: Brief Introduction
The AMASR Act is “an act to provide for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance, for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects. The ASI is responsible for archeological research and preservation of monuments of cultural and historical significance, and comes under the Ministry of Culture.”
Need for the amendment:
- Rationalization of ‘prohibited and regulated’ areas, after disputes arose over development projects related to various monuments.
- More powers to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to remove encroachments from regulated areas around monuments, and to hold local authorities accountable.
- Standardization for inclusion of sites/monuments in the ‘Archaeological Survey of India List’, and removal of monuments if required.
- Re-examine the reasons for setting the ‘prohibited limits’ of 100 meters and 300 meters. Recently, the Parliamentary Standing Committee report also pointed to the fact that there was no specific reason behind this ‘delimitation’.
Source – The Hindu