Bhubaneswar: Engaged in a war of words with the Odisha government over National Monuments Authority’s (NMA) draft heritage bylaws for temples in Odisha, BJP leader and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi fired fresh salvoes at the ruling dispensation.
Sticking to her ‘unnecessary hue and cry’ stand, the bureaucrat-turned-politician on Friday tweeted that the route to the development of heritage areas is not through withdrawal/abeyance of bylaws.
She said the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act still prevails and supersedes all. “The Odisha govt must seek permission from NMA/ASI before implementing projects in Prohibited/ Regulated areas. Let’s do what is right,” she wrote.
Heritage areas must be developed.But route to such devt is not through withdrawal/abeyance of by- law.AMSAR Act,1958, still prevails;it supersedes all.Odisha govt must seek permission from NMA/ASI before implementing projects in Prohibited/ Regulated areas.Let’s do what is right. pic.twitter.com/AxBPvzod7b
— Aparajita Sarangi, Member of Parliament (@AprajitaSarangi) February 19, 2021
BATTLE OF WITS
Earlier this month the MP was criticised for her silence over the draft bylaws for two temples, Ananta Basudev and Brahmeswar, in Bhubaneswar.
Responding to it at a press conference on February 15, she said the uproar over the issue was uncalled for since the bylaws are still at the draft stage.
“Even if the draft bylaws are withdrawn, the provisions under AMSAR Act of 1958, as amended in 2010, continue to be in operation,” she had said.
According to the Act of 1958 and amendment in 2010, every monument has 100 metres of prohibited area and 200 metres (beyond that) of the regulated area, she added.
February 16 saw a fresh round of duel between Aparajita and the ruling BJD over the legal technicalities to prohibit and regulate developmental work around the centrally-protected monuments.
The BJP leader said construction or reconstruction or repair or renovation of buildings can be carried out only in the regulated area after making an application to the competent authority, who is Director, Culture, as notified by NMA constituted under the AMASR Act.
Refuting her claim, Media advisor to Odisha government Manas Mangaraj said: “The competent authority as notified in the bylaws is regional director of the Archaeological Survey of India,” he said.
Aparajita tweeted a Central gazette notification under 20 C and D in support of her argument. The ruling party, however, debunked it by citing Section 20(E) of the Act, according to which Regional Director of ASI, Kolkata, is the NMA-Odisha competent authority. It has sent the proposal for heritage bylaws for Odisha temples, it added.