CAG exposes ASI apathy in keeping monuments intact - The New Indian Express

CAG exposes ASI apathy in keeping monuments intact

Published: 25th August 2013 08:38 AM

Last Updated: 25th August 2013 08:38 AM

A Comptroller and Audit General report has found the Archeological Survey of India’s negligence in the way historical monuments were being preserved and conserved in the country.

Delhi being the capital fared no better as the latest report found out.

During the audit, it turned out that not only some of the key monuments in Delhi were badly kept, and encroachments marred their character, but even antiquities were stored poorly.

In case of Red Fort that attracted over  1.25 crore visitors in the last five years and even earned `25.59 crore in revenue, the conservation was poorly done.

“Many stones at the entrance gate of the Naubat Khana were seriously damaged. The floral design was replaced with different colours and the work done was also a patch work. The Takht (the throne used by Shahjahan during his audience with people) was covered with a net thus spoiling its aesthetic appeal,” the report said.

“Widespread seepage was noticed on the ceiling of the Diwan-e-Aam. The rear wall had a number of cracks and required chemical treatment. The brackets holding the structure were falling off and needed to be conserved immediately,” the report tabled in Parliament on Friday said. Ironically, the ASI spent of `91 lakhs for preparing comprehensive management plan for the monument. But this plan prepared in 2007 was rejected. The ASI spent over `15.77 crore between 2007-12 for the preservation and conservation of Red Fort.

The report said many of the key areas in the Red Fort like - Hamam (royal bath), Moti masjid and Baoli in Red Fort were permanently closed without even the approval of the competent authority.

Even other areas like Mumtaz Mahal, Khas Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas were not approachable for the public.  The survey also found an illegal temple and mazar inside the complex used for regular prayers.

In its scathing indictment, it said Red fort had not received the care and protection it required... Comprehensive assessment of preservation works and funds requirement has never been carried out. The ministry on its own failed to take any initiative in this direction.”

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