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ASI to scrap 18 ‘missing’ monuments from its protected list

Delisting the structures frees ASI from the responsibility of their upkeep

ASI to scrap 18 ‘missing’ monuments from its protected list
[Source photo: Shireen Khan/Press Insider]

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is removing 18 monuments from its list of protected sites as they “have ceased to be of national importance.”

The decision stems from a list of 24 “untraceable” ancient and historical monuments identified by the ministry of culture last year.

Some of the monuments facing delisting include Kos Minar in Haryana; Inchla Wali Gumti and Bara Khamba Cemetery in Delhi; a 12th century temple in Rajasthan; and Telia Nala Buddhist ruins in Uttar Pradesh.

Delisting these structures frees the ASI from the responsibility of their upkeep and allows for regular development activities in the surrounding areas.

Currently, ASI oversees 3,693 monuments, a number that will decrease to 3,675 upon completion of the delisting process.

ASI issued a notification this month inviting feedback on the proposed delisting.

This notification cites Section 35 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (AMASR Act), which allows for delisting monuments that “have lost national importance.”

A report, titled “Issues relating to Untraceable Monuments and Protection of Monuments in India,” submitted by the ministry of culture to Parliament last year, showed that 50 of the 3,693 centrally protected monuments were “missing.”

These “missing” monuments spanned several states, including Uttar Pradesh (11), Delhi and Haryana (2 each), Assam, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

ASI attributed the losses to various causes. While 14 monuments fell victim to rapid urbanization, 12 were submerged by dams or reservoirs. The remaining 24, including the 18 slated for delisting, remain untraceable.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 35…the central government hereby gives notice of its intention to declare that the monuments specified in the Schedule to this notification have ceased to be of national importance for the purposes of said Act,” the notification said.

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