The Union Cabinet on 17 May 2017 approved the introduction of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament.
The cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the following amendments to make way for certain constructions limited strictly to public works and projects essential to the public within the prohibited area:
• Amendment to section 20A of the Act in order to allow any department of the Union Government to carry out public works in prohibited areas after obtaining the necessary permissions from Government.
• Insertion of a new definition of “public works” in section 2 of the Act.
• Insertion of a new clause (ea) to section 20-I of the principal Act.
• The 1958 act, which was amended in 2010, prohibits granting of permission for any new construction within prohibited areas of a centrally protected monument or site.
• The prohibition had an adverse impact on the developmental projects of the Union government.
• This new amendment will, however, allow some constructions, which would be strictly limited to public works and projects important for the public within the prohibited site that would benefit the public at large.