• Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of Centrally Protected Monuments that have been encroached upon, closely followed by Tamil Nadu.
  • While 75 protected monument sites have been enroached upon in Uttar Pradesh, the corresponding number for Tamil Nadu is 74, Minister for Tourism and Culture G. Kishan Reddy told the Rajya Sabha.
  • Uttar Pradesh also has the largest number of Centrally Protected monuments in the country at 743, while Tamil Nadu has 412.
  • A total of 356 such heritage structures have encroachments across the country, Mr. Reddy said in reply to a question by Congress MP Mukul Wasnik. In 2019, the government had informed the Rajya Sabha that there were 321 protected monuments whose sites had been infringed.
  • Karnataka and Maharashtra are third and fourth with 48 and 46 such monuments, respectively, hosting encroachments. Gujarat has 35 protected monuments that have been invaded.
  • India has a total of 3,695 Centrally Protected Monuments or Sites in the country, under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The monuments are regularly inspected by the ASI officials to assess their present condition. Necessary conservation and preservation works are taken up as per the requirement, he said.
  • The House was told that among the various action taken by the ASI are filing police complaints, issuing show-cause notices to defaulters for the removal of the said encroachments, and issuing demolition orders to the Collector for the demolition or removal of the said encroachments.
  • The ASI regulates construction around the protected monuments through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Act, 2010. The Act prohibits construction within 100 metres of a protected monument.
  • The next 300-metre radius is regulated too. Proposed amendments seek to do away with the ban on construction within 100 metres of a monument and only regulate construction within 100-200 metres, under the Act that protects monuments and sites over 100 years old.
  • This is expected to give more powers to the ASI on the encroachments.


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