Hyderabad

Decision to grant NoC to builder challenged

Restoration work in progress on the famous Qutb Shahi tombs complex in Hyderabad.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

After Ramappa temple secured the Unesco World Heritage Site tag, there is growing chorus for making a case for Hyderabad with the Qutb Shahi era Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi tombs and Charminar besides a host of other sites. The sites in Hyderabad were nominated much earlier in 2010 while the Ramappa nomination was made in 2014.

Trying to keep Golconda and Qutb Shahi tombs in the reckoning, the Telangana government is securing its flanks for a watertight case. The government is challenging the decision of the National Monuments Authority (NMA) to grant no-objection certificate (NoC) to a builder for constructing villas between the Golconda Fort and the Qutb Shahi tombs complex. The State government is citing the NMA rule that automated approvals cannot be given near the site that are on Unesco tentative list.

In a counter-affidavit, which The Hindu could access, the State invoked various sections in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (2010) challenging the issue of NoC to the builder.

Interestingly, the NMA had at its May 6, 2021, meeting decided to reconsider the NoC citing: “After perusal of the application, as the monuments is likely to be world heritage site and complete data not provided, it was decided that Authority will visit the proposed site of construction with local officials of Archaeological Survey of India and Competent Authority, Telangana.”

The inspection was never carried out. A month later, the NMA went back on its decision and issued the NoC with sharp words for Telangana to reveal the minutes of the 307th meeting: “The chairman has taken exception that Competent Authority, Telangana, chose to ignore the recommendation of NMA. As so recommended the competent authority may abide by the provisions of the Section 20D (4) and 20D (5) of the AMASR Act, 1958 and issue the necessary permission to the applicant without further delay.” The NMA invoked the NoC issued by the Archaeological Survey of India in 2008 for its decision in April 2019.

But in 2010, the Golconda Fort and Qutb Shahi tombs were placed on tentative list of World Heritage Site putting them in the race for Unesco tag.

The NMA has a caveat about automated approval of NoC when a site is on Unesco tentative list. During the examination of Ramappa temple by World Heritage Committee, the key opposition to its inclusion was based on the boundary of the site. Norway, which agreed for the inclusion wanted the boundaries of the site to be expanded in a major way to include the irrigation and other artefacts from Kakatiya era.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 8:03:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/govt-to-challenge-nma-decision-to-grant-noc-to-builder/article35568840.ece

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