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Clearances for monorail may get further delayed

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s Jacob Circle-Wadala-Chembur monorail corridor project, which has been issued a stop work notice by the Archaeological Survey of India, is not likely to get any clearances soon.

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The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) Jacob Circle-Wadala-Chembur monorail corridor project, which has been issued a stop work notice by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), is not likely to get any clearances soon.

The competent authority formed to process the application is still to get the concerned infrastructure and manpower to process the application because of which the applications are pending with them since November.

The ASI had issued a notice to MMRDA, under provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010, which prohibits construction work within 300 meters of monuments.

The monorail phase is close to the ancient Monolithic bas relief of Shiva in Parel village.

The newly appointed director of the competent authority, Sanjay Patil, said, “Our priority would be infrastructure projects like the monorail but still there is no clarity as to who will be the surveyors of the applicants nor are there any by-laws formulated by the national monument authority prescribing the steps in which it has to be processed”.

Patil was appointed in November last year and the first meeting to discuss the by laws and procedure to process the application took place on February 1, in Delhi.

The draft rules were given and suggestions have been called for by the competent authority’s chiefs to be included in the final by-laws.

Patil said, “We have received over 270 applications from individuals, different state government agencies and private companies. However, since it is not clear as to how we process them we have kept them pending.”

“Most of the monuments in the suburbs are protected. However, only the ‘Shiva statue in Parel’ and the Sion Fort are affected by construction work and this will be looked into,” said the ASI official.

Monorail director, Vishnu Kumar, said, “At the moment we are in the process of diverting utilities which should be done within a month and after that the clearance would be required. We have moved the application before the competent authority but we still have to hear from them.”

According to the act, the first 100 meters around an ancient monument is prohibited area where no mining or construction can take place.

The next 200 meters is regulated area subject to permission from an officer not less than the Director of the State Archaeological Department or of the post of a joint secretary and also of the National Monument Committee.

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