The Delhi Metro’s Phase-III corridor between Kashmere Gate and Central Secretariat has been given conditional clearance by heritage panel, National Monument Authority (NMA).
NMA Member Secretary Pravin Srivastava on Thursday said DMRC can go ahead with construction of the corridor provided it fulfills conditions such as assessment of the archaeology potential of the area.
The corridor has been waiting for NMA approval as several heritage structures lie along the route. The rules prohibit construction within 300 metres of protected monuments, without prior approval from the heritage panel.
A DMRC spokesperson said they are yet to receive a formal notification regarding clearance from the NMA. “It must be in the drafting stages. We are awaiting formal intimation,” the spokesperson said.
“The proposal, along with the various studies conducted on the project, was taken up in our meeting last week. It was decided that the proposal could be recommended for approval, provided some conditions are met with,” Srivastava said.
“Before work on the project starts, an assessment of the archaeology potential of the stretch, including ITO to Kashmere Gate, needs to be carried out. This will be done by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) with DMRC’s help,” Srivastava said.
In case any archaeological remains are found, ASI can decide if it wants the artefacts to remain in situ or shifted to another place.
As a preventive measure, DMRC will also have to install monitoring equipment along routes that are close to heritage structures. “They will monitor any potential danger to the monuments and measure vibrations and its effect on the structures during and after construction work,” Srivastava said.
A monitoring committee will do “real-time assessment” at the sites to ensure there is no damage to monuments during construction. The Metro will also set up a heritage interpretation centre, where “artefacts from the surrounding area can be on display”.
The Metro’s ‘heritage line’ was announced two years ago as part of Phase-III construction. The 9-km corridor will have eight stations — Central Secretariat, Janpath, Mandi House, ITO, Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid, Red Fort and Kashmere Gate.