She claimed that the heritage by-laws are intended to help the general public by streamlining the norms for taking up reconstruction/renovation activities in the restricted areas of protected monuments.
Addressing a Press Meet, Sarangi said there are 3,693 ASI protected monuments in India and, of these, 80 are located in Odisha. All these monuments are protected under The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, which was further amended in 2010 and came up as "the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010" (AMSAR Act).
Also the protection mechanism is guided by "The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Framing of Heritage By-laws and other functions of the Competent Authority) Rules 2011. As per the Act of 1958 and amendment in 2010, each of ASI-protected monumenthas 100 metres of Prohibited area and 200 metres (beyond that) of Regulated area. Section 20 A, 20 B, 20 C, 20D talk of grant of permission by the Competent Authority for carrying out construction, repair and renovation work in Prohibited and Regulated area.
In case of Odisha, the application for permission will be submitted to Director, Culture, who in turn, will communicate his views to NMA. The NMA will give approval or refuse, as the case may be, and communicate its recommendations to the Competent Authority.
Heritage By-laws posted on website for five monuments, Shri Jagannath Temple and subsidiary shrines Puri(withdrawn recently and Brahmeshwar Temple, Ananta Basudeva Temple, Mukteshwar Temple and Rameshwar temple in Bhubaneswar.
The Odisha Government and the ruling BJD have been repeatedly misleading the people giving untrue information, she alleged.
Allegation that draft by-laws are damaging to the development of surrounding areas is not at all true.
“Heritage by-laws are monument specific and so much of alarm at the draft stage was uncalled for. The draft by-laws for the first five monuments have been posted on the website to invite objections/suggestions. If there is any objection, the State Government should file objections. Then what is the meaning of withdrawal of draft by- laws,” questioned Sarangi.
She said even if the draft by-laws are withdrawn, the provisions under AMSAR Act of 1958, as amended in 2010, continue to be in operation.
“In fact, the heritage by-laws are intended to help the general public by streamlining the norms for taking up reconstruction/renovation activities in the restricted areas,” she asserted.
She said another allegation that publication of the By-laws will hinder development works surrounding these temples are also not true.
“The restriction of 100 metres as Prohibited area and next 200 metres as Regulated area from the perimeter of a notified monument has been existing in the Act of 1958 and existed in the AMSAR Act amended in 2010. Irrespective of the By-laws, the restriction relating to taking up any new construction within 100 metres of prohibited area is applicable to an ASI notified monument and will apply to Puri Temple, Lingaraj Temple, Brahmeshwar Temple, Anant Basudev temple or any other such notified monuments,” noted Sarangi.
The allegation that Centre has not taken State agencies into confidence while preparing the draft Bye-laws is also not true, she said.
“To the contrary, the State agencies have not taken the Central agencies like ASI into confidence while taking up the demolition drive, especially in a zone which is so dense in heritage structures and in structures yet to be excavated,” said the MP.