New Delhi: Despite 40 ancient monuments being scattered in Nizamuddin Basti,many of them protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),there is no mechanism to keep a check on unauthorized constructions.
Earlier this week, ASI filed a police complaint over an unauthorized new building coming up adjacent to the Mughal-era Chausath Khamba monument, but so far no action has been taken. ASI sources said the latest construction is next to another new, five storey building that has come up on a vacant plot only in recent months.
ASI officials said that in the past six months,over a dozen complaints have been filed about new constructions in prohibited areas of protected monuments. These include Chausath Khamba,Atgah Khans Tomb,Mirza Ghalibs tomb,Nizamuddin baoli as well as monuments like Do Siriya Gumbad.
No action was taken despite repeated complaints. There are at least a dozen buildings that have been encroached in recent months. In Chausath Khamba, it is shocking that a five-storey building has already come up right on the boundary wall of the monument and another construction is happening next to it, said ASI officials.
Officials say that unless action is taken against the unauthorized constructions, more are likely to come up. Considering the speed at which the construction is happening, it appears that the new building will be completed in a few weeks. Taking action after that will be more difficult, said a source.
As per the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act,2010,no new construction is allowed within 100 metres of centrally protected monuments and is limited within 200 metres of the regulated zone.While ASI is the enforcement agency that should keep a check on such constructions,officials say that they can only file police complaints and after that it is the police and civic agencies that should take action.Nizamuddin basti is a difficult area to monitor as it is densely populated and locals are known to be hostile to ASI and other enforcement agencies.
ASI officials are also worried about new constructions that have come up on the baoli itself and have lodged complaints about this.Portions of the baoli had collapsed in 2010 and officials are concerned that the extra weight of the new constructions could lead to a similar situation.Atgah Khans Tomb is another encroached monument over which ASI is yet to take action.A family has been living in the crypt of the tomb for years and,so far,there have been no efforts by ASI to evict them. Source>>>