NMA Permits Construction Of Public Amenities In Prohibited Areas for Konark Heritage Area Development

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The National Monuments Authority (NMA) after considering the Konark Heritage Area Development Plan submitted by Odisha Bridge Construction Corporation (OBCC) recommended the execution of public amenities in the prohibited areas namely, Landscape Plaza, Rain Gardens, Shuttle lane and Shuttle Pick up & Drop —off point that is permitted under the exception clause to the definition of ‘Construction’ given in Sec-Ion 2(dc), AMASR Act, 1958.

The NMA has, however, said that these works may be executed under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for mitigating adverse impacts on the protected monument.

The NMA has recommended that the repair/renovation proposed to be carried out in the open-air theatre located in the prohibited area does not tantamount to addition/alteration or reconstruction. OBCC may submit a separate application in this regard to the Competent Authority for consideration in terms of Rule 8 of AMASR (Competent Authority) Rules, 2011, it added.

The NMA considered the Heritage Impact Assessment report submitted by OBCC regarding the Konark Heritage Area Development Project.

It has noted the following conclusions made in the HIA report, “It noted the conclusions that there will be no direct or indirect negative impact of the Konark Heritage Area Development Project on the protected monument. The project is expected to have a major beneficial impact on the monument and its surroundings and provide the impetus for reviving the glory and grandeur of the Temple”.

The NMA recommended the grant of NOC for construction of the following works in the regulated area namely (i) Foot-over Bridge with the facilities of escalators and wide ramps having a gradual gradient for the benefit of differently-abled people and senior citizens visiting the site Multi-modal Transit Flub, (iii) Main Boulevard, (iv) vending areas, (v) Landscaped Plaza, (vi) information centre, (vii) The Priority Guest Parking and Lounge and Access Roads Improvements and renovations.

The NMA has stipulated the following general conditions for compliance, as far as possible, while executing the development works: (i) All new structures proposed to be constructed should be non-intrusive and devoid of any heavy architecture (ii) All new structures proposed to be constructed may be temporary structures wherever feasible. (iii) Locally available building material should be used in the construction work in harmony with the existing landscape (iv) Use of heavy machinery for digging work should be avoided to mitigate the adverse impact on account of vibration on the protected monuments. (v) The digging work should be executed manually or with the help of light machinery under the supervision of ASI.