The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has issued notices to 15 families in Palliyagaram village in Madurantakam taluk against construction activity inside a protected area in the hamlet.

The notices issued in June, and signed by the conservation assistant, ASI, Kancheepuram sub-circle, Chennai circle, directed the families to stop construction immediately and demolish the illegal structures inside the protected area. The site houses some megalithic cists and cairns.

By carrying out unauthorised construction, the owners/occupiers of the premises had contravened the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 19 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, the notice said.

The Act states that no person, including the owner or occupier of a protected area, shall construct any building within the protected area or carry out mining, blasting or any such operation, or utilise the space, or any part thereof, in any manner without the permission of the Central Government.

The families were asked to remove the unauthorised structures inside the protected area in seven days. If they failed to do so, they would face imprisonment, which may extend up to 2 years, or be fined up to Rs. 1 lakh, or both, the notice said.

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