Illegal constructions on rise around Quila Mubarak

According to the Ancient Monuments Act, no construction activity could be undertaken on the protected (where the monument exists) and prohibited (within 100 metres of the monument) area. Such activities in another 200 metres had to be regulated so as to protect the monument. Sources said only repair work was allowed in the existing buildings around the monument and that too after obtaining a no objection certificate (NOC) from the ASI.

Sources said in some cases the violators had exploited this condition and had added floors on their buildings after getting NOC for repair work. Sources said the ASI had served notices to violators, but they were of little consequence as the unauthorised structures had already come up.

Taking a serious notice of the illegal constructions, The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Bhandari, has decided to take up the matter with the ASI's Chandigarh office. He said he had received letters from the local ASI office regarding unauthorised constructions around the fort in the past, but "it was too late" as the constructions were over by that time. "The need of the hour is to check these constructions at the starting point. We are ready to cooperate in any joint action by the MC and the ASI to check illegal constructions," he added.

On the other hand, the conservation assistant, Mr PD Shinde, was reluctant to talk to this correspondent over the issue and said only the higher ups could comment on the matter. The ASI staff at the Chandigarh office also failed to come out with any convincing reply on the illegal constructions.

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