Archeology Survey of India plans annual ‘health check’ of heritage sites and buildings – The New Indian Express
Express press service
NEW DELHI: Often criticized for the poor condition of the heritage sites and buildings under its protection, the Archeology Survey of India (ASI) has drawn up an ambitious plan for their regular and methodical conservation and upkeep.
To make a difference, the agency will conduct an annual assessment of its 3,693 historic sites and structures, including monuments and forts, to determine restoration needs. This is for the first time in decades; the survey planned a comprehensive program to improve the effectiveness of restoration and conservation interventions undertaken at various sites throughout the year, but in silos.
Officials familiar with the matter said that the proposal for the annual monument review is ready and the modalities for its effective implementation are being worked out. “This program will help us better understand the exact condition of our cultural heritage sites or buildings and initiate efforts for their preservation not only to maintain their charm but to extend their lifespan. We have a budget however if more than funds are needed, it will be arranged accordingly,” an ASI official said.
Under the current arrangement, an officer, who is in charge of a group of monuments (usually a Conservation Architect – CA), continues to frequently inspect the structures and decides whether to undertake repair projects or of restoration. He also prepares an estimate for the same and gets it sanctioned by the relevant authority.
However, individual efforts sometimes lead to ordinary, shoddy jobs. The idea of regular annual review and preservation work afterwards is a welcome change as maintenance, which is a key intervention for the protection of our cultural wealth, requires centralized support, the official added.
ASI’s Annual Assessment Plan, which is the brainchild of its Managing Director V Vidyavathi, also aims to emphasize routine maintenance work, which is often not carried out due to various constraints. ; mainly misunderstanding the needs. This neglect ultimately results in the deterioration of protected sites and also leads to an additional financial burden on resources.
Speaking at a recent event, Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy made an announcement regarding an annual review and curation program introduced by the Inquiry.
“As one does an annual health check of a person, ASI will carry out an annual ‘health check’ of its heritage sites and structures. This is to examine their condition and find ways of protective work and restoration.It is our responsibility.This program will be a regular annual feature.The government is committed to preserving and promoting our cultural heritage.This becomes important as next year India will host G -20 (intergovernmental forum) and many dignitaries and heads of countries It will be an opportunity for promotion and publicity to boost tourism,” said Reddy.