According to the government, more than 300
Centrally-protected monuments and sites, including World Heritage Sites, across
India are under encroachment.
Among the monuments that have encroachments are
Purana Qila in Delhi, Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, Sun Temple in Konark in
Odisha and Brahma Temple in Pushkar, Rajasthan.
However, the government has assured that proactive
steps have been taken by the Archaeological Survey of India under the
provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMSAR)
Act, 1958 and Rules, 1959 to curb encroachment.
The AMSAR Act provides for the preservation of
ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of
national importance. It also provides for the regulation of archaeological
excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like
The AMSAR Act, 1958 was amended in 2010. The
AMASR (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010 prescribes the limits of regulated
and prohibited area.
It states that no building activity is allowed
in the ‘prohibited zone’ which is within 100 meters from the notified limits of
200 meters further from the borders of the 100
meter prohibited zone is the ‘regulated area’. Here some building, repair and
restoration activity is allowed with permission from the Competent Authority.