Agra: Here's a caution word for the ongoing constructions or encroachments within the prohibited areas around the monuments of national importance! Illegal structures near the protected monuments including Taj Mahal are poised to come heavily under the Central government.

The Centre has constituted a National Monument Authority (NMA) and designated Commissioner Agra as the competent authority for 24 districts of Western Uttar Pradesh to prevent any unauthorized construction activity in and around the protected monuments.

The Commissioner would be responsible for sanctioning any construction activity within the radius of protected monuments.

After accepting the responsibility, the Commissioner has issued directions for identification of various unauthorized constructions and encroachments near the monuments.

“Various illegal encroachments and unauthorized structures near or around the protected monuments in 24 districts are being identified through surveys. Thereafter, the enquiry to demolish these structures would be initiated,” said Amrit Abhijat, Commissioner Agra.

Until now, this provision was enjoyed by Delhi-based head office of Archaeological Survey of India
In order to prohibit the illegal constructions activities near the heritage and protected monuments, the Central Government, last year had brought amendments in its Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

Under the amendment, the National Authority has been constituted so as to give consent for the construction activity within the monument radius.

As per the new amendment, a minimum of 100 metres area beginning from the boundary limit of the protected monument is specified as the 'prohibited area', beyond which, in all directions, a minimum of 200 metres is categorized as 'regulated area’.

Thus, the residents in the protected area (100m radius) of the protected monuments cannot raise any construction and in regulated area, they could undertake construction, repair and altercation only with the permission of the NMA.

Thus, any construction, repair, alteration, whatsoever, in and around the restricted areas will be prohibited and any other repair work could be undertaken only with the permission of the NMA.

Districts under NMA

Agra, Aligarh, Auraiya, Bagpat, Bijnaur, Bareily, Badaun, Bulandshehar, Ghaziabad, Etah, Etawah, Hathras (Mahamaya Nagar), Kannauj, Farrukhabad, Faizabad, Pilibhit, Saharanpur, Meerut, Muradabad, Muzzafarnagar, Mainpuri, Jyotiba Phule Nagar, Kanshiram Nagar.