Encroachments pose threat to ASI monuments

The ASI officials in their complaint alleged that the local council authorities tried to fill the pond surrounding the protected building ‘Anarkali’. Had water been filled in the pond it would have disrupted the protection measures being taken by the ASI to restore the building. Moreover, the attempt was aimed at stopping the ASI from the possession of the prime land adjoining the monuments.

Talking to The Tribune officials of the ASI said rule 32 of the Ancient Monuments, Archaeological sites and Remains Act, 1958, prohibits mining and construction up to 100 metres from the protected limits. The Act has barred any construction, excavation and mining within the said area without the permission of the Director General, ASI.

However, a large number of constructions have come up near the protected monuments. A temple has been constructed by the encroachers right between the two protected monuments, the tomb of Hazira and Anarkali. The illegal building blocks the view of monuments from either side.

The colonisers have carved out illegal colonies around the monuments and houses have come up in violation of the rules. ASI officials said that they have served legal notice on the encroachers. However, in the absence of the active support of the local administration they cannot remove the encroachments.

The History Society of Gurdaspur has expressed concern over the encroachments on the protected sites of the ASI.

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