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Thursday, 30 April, 2015, 11 : 30 AM [IST]

NMA grants NOC for renovation of abandoned railway line near Rani Ki Vav, Gujarat

The National Monuments Authority (NMA) under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, has decided to grant No Objection Certificate (NOC) for repair and renovation of an abandoned meter gauge railway line near the World Heritage Site, Rani Ki Vav in Patan, Gujarat. The NOC is based on the proposal for an alternate alignment submitted by the Indian Railways as permissible under rules and guidelines for heritage monuments, informed Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Culture and Tourism and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India, in the Rajya Sabha. Rani Ki Vav was added to the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO in June 2014, he disclosed.

The Minister said that after the perusal of the original application submitted by Western Railways, it was observed by the NMA that this project involves construction of a railway track and this would adversely affect the protected site, since it is in a prohibited area, as per a PIB release. The distance of the proposed site of construction-related activity from the main monument is 67 mtr and from the protected boundary wall of the monument, 13 mtr. Accordingly, NMA has decided that the proposed construction is not permissible and the Railways may explore the realignment more seriously.

Dr Sharma further explained that several meetings were held between officials of Railways, NMA, and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to sort out the issue and the Railways submitted a proposal for renovation of the abandoned MG Railway line near Rani Ki Vav on an alternate alignment. This was considered at the 121st meeting of NMA and was decided to recommend grant of NOC for its renovation on an alternate alignment, subject to ASI clearance with reference to the dossier submitted to UNESCO. The distance from the protected limit of the protected area of the monument has now been shown as 102.54 mtr (beyond prohibited area), the Minister added.
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