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Bill to give more teeth to ASI listed for introduction in Parliament


NEW DELHI: A bill to provide more teeth to the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and amend a law dealing with ancient monuments is listed for introduction in the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning Monday.

According to a Lok Sabha bulletin, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2022 has been listed by the government for introduction and passing.

The bill is aimed at rationalising the prohibited area and other amendments.

Most significant aspect of the bill is that it will replace the provision which allows a 100-metre prohibited area for construction activity around Centrally-protected monuments with site-specific limits to be decided by an expert committee.

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958, was amended in 2010 to declare the 100-metre radius of protected monuments as prohibited areas and the next 300-metre radius as regulated areas.

Officials said the proposed amendment would change Section 20A of the Act, which refers to the prohibited area, to rationalise the prohibited and regulated areas.

Expert monument committees would decide the prohibited area around a particular monument.

The ASI would be given enforcement powers like in the Forest Act which would empower it to act against those encroaching at protested sites.

The bill would also seek to review the list of protected sites under the ASI.

Another bill which will be listed during this session is the Kalakshetra Foundation (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The Bill seeks to amend the Kalakshetra Foundation Act, 1993 to empower the Kalakshetra Foundation to award certificates; diplomas; post graduate diplomas; degrees to graduate and post-graduate; doctoral and post-doctoral courses; and conduct research in the areas of dance, traditional theatre, drama, Carnatic and traditional music, visual arts, craft education and art education. (PTI)

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