THE Union Culture Ministry has written to chief secretaries of all states for their active cooperation in making centrally protected monuments polythene-free zones. All monuments and archaeological
sites protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been declared as polythene-free zones, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma told the Lok Sabha on Monday. A total of 3,686 historical monuments and archaeological sites have been declared by the ASI as protected as they are of national importance.
Replying to questions, Sharma said all the State administrations have been urged to offer active support to the move. "All the field offices of ASI have been directed for necessary compliance," the minister added.
He said Rs 80.47 crore revenue has been received through sale of tickets at monuments and site museums up to September in the current financial year. During the period, revenue through other heads stood at Rs 3.33 crore, he added.
Until November 15 of the current fiscal, as much as Rs 191.50 crore has been spent on conservation of all centrally-protected monuments and sites of national importance.
To a query about Rakhi Garhi, located in Haryana, Sharma said the government has set up a committee to look into the issues related to the site, which is considered historically important. Since habitations have come up in some areas at the site, the archaeological work is being adversely affected, he said. Rakhi Garhi is believed to be a settlement that came up before the Indus Valley civilisation.