GN Bureau | January 21, 2010
The Union Government is promulgating an ordinance to allow
unhindered construction of the Commonwealth Games and Metro Rail
projects in the vicinity of the protected archaeological monuments in
The ordinance is coming up before the Union Cabinet on Thursday to
amend the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Act. Sources said the
Prime Minister has already approved the draft ordinance in his
capacity as the Cabinet minister of culture and directed its placement
before the Cabinet.
Necessity of the ordinance arose from a Delhi High Court's show cause
notice issued to ASI and 171 parties on October 30 as to why it should
not cancel all permissions granted for repairs and constructions in
the prohibited areas across the country.
Nine time-bound projects in Delhi faced stoppage under the High Court
notice and these included various constructions for the Commonwealth
Games in October. The ordinance is being rushed to beat the deadline
of January 29 set by the High Court for replies by the Directorate
general of ASI and others, sources said.
A Cabinet note says the High Court order may lead to unprecedented
splurge of litigations affecting execution of the important projects
if a complete ban is slapped on constructions within 100 metres of the
protected monuments. The ban will hinder constructions not only in
Delhi but also affect other infrastructure projects in various towns
and cities of the country, the note adds.
Since Parliament is not in session and circumstances do exist which
render it necessary to make immediate action to ensure that execution
of prestigious projects such as Metro Rail and Commonwealth games
and other infrastructural projects
are not dislocated or delayed., hence it is proposed to promulgate an
ordinance to give effect to the amendments that one required to be
carried out before 29-1-2010 when the show cause notice issued to
Directorate General of Archeological Survey of India was returnable.
Hence this draft note for Cabinet for an ordinance, said the source.
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