The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Parliament. To make way for certain constructions limited strictly to public works and projects essential to public within the prohibited area, the following amendments have been approved:
(i) Insertion of a new definition of “public works” in Section 2 of the Act.
(ii) Amendment to Section 20-A of the Act so as to allow any Department or Office of the Central Government to carry out public works in the prohibited area after obtaining permission from the Central Government.
(iii) Insertion of a new clause (ea) to Section 20-I of the principal Act.
Background: The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains Act, 1958 (as amended in the year 2010) prohibits grant of any permission for new construction within the prohibited area of a centrally protected monument/site. Prohibition of new construction within prohibited area is adversely impacting various public works and developmental projects of the Central Government. The amendment will pave way for certain constructions limited strictly to public works and projects essential to public within the prohibited area and benefit the public at large.