As work progresses on the East – West Metro corridor, a station along the corridor seems to have been planned too close to the 182 year old heritage structure – The Currency Building. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has expressed its concern over the proposed metro station being built too close to the protected monument.
In a letter to the transport department, government of West Bengal, the regional director (eastern circle) of ASI, P.K. Mishra, wrote: “The metro station will be built in the prohibited area of the Currency Building which requires sanction from the National Monuments Authority.
Apart from the Currency building, many heritage buildings in the heritage precinct are close to the metro. This includes St Andrews Church (11 metres from the metro alignment), Writers Buildings (24- 23 metres), and Raj Bhavan (about 8 metres to the right side of the metro alignment).
As per existing rules, construction and mining operations are prohibited within 100 metres of protected monuments.
The NOC (no-objection certificate) of National Monument Authority (NMA) of ASI is very important for any construction within the vicinity of a nationally-protected monument under AMASR (Ancient Monument and Archaeological Site and Remains, Administration and Validation) Act.
Earlier, two nationally-protected monuments — Magen David and Beth El Synagogues — turned out to be stumbling blocks for the corridor as a station was supposed to be constructed within the prohibitive zone of these monuments.
After the corridor was realigned, it was decided that only an underground tunnel would be constructed within the prohibitive zone (100 metres) of these monuments. In the realigned route, only the Currency Building becomes an issue.