Construction, repair works in protected area going on unabated
Violation of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act 2010 is rampant in Gulbarga district, where several monuments are under the direct control of the Archaeological Survey of India and the State Archaeology Department.
According to the details provided by the ASI and State Archaeology Department under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to social activist Sheikh Shafi Ahmed, there are 12 monuments under the control of ASI and 89 under the State Archaeology Department.
While the provisions of the Act cover all the monuments that come under the control of ASI, those under the control of State Archaeology Department have been left uncovered.
The monuments under the control of ASI include, pre-historic sites in Ivathihalli and Udihani, Budhist sites in Kaginahalli and Sannathi in Chitapur taluk, four tombs of Bahamani sultans at Haft Gumbuz (seven tombs) in Gulbarga, Ranamandal in Gulbarga Fort, Gulbarga Fort, Jama Masjid inside the fort, pre-historic site at Rajankollur in Surpur taluk in Yadgir district, and a pre-historic site at the Vibhuthihalli in Shahapur taluk in Yadgir district.
As per Section 20 (A) and (B) of the Act, 100 metres from the protected monuments is a prohibited area and no construction, repair or renovation work is allowed in that area.
The next 200-m area around a protected monument is declared as regulated area and certain conditional permission can be given by the National Monuments Authority for construction in that area.
However, according to the details available with The Hindu , the construction and repair of buildings within the 100-m area of the monuments under the control of ASI has been going on undeterred, and no action has been taken so far to prevent them.
Most blatant violations were found in the 100-m area of the Haft Gumbuz on the road leading to the Dargah Shareef of the Sufi saint Khaja Banda Nawaz. Besides taking up repair and renovation of buildings, new structures have also come up in the 100-m protected area and most recently, a new place of worship has come up there.
In addition, repair and renovation of structures in the 100-m area of other national monuments under the ASI control here are going on unchecked. Similarly, several buildings have come up in the area between 100 m and 300 m of some monuments, without obtaining any permission. The Gulbarga City Corporation has turned a blind eye to these violations.