Patan (PTN): The National Monument Authority has forced Indian Railways to change the alignment of the existing Patan-Kakosi railway line, which passes about 67m from the World heritage site Rani-ki-Vav in Patan.
The alignment was changed after the railway proposed renovation of the existing line, after which NMA asked the railway to look for alternative routes for the line.
The National Monument Authority also turned down a proposal of the railways to carry out repairs and renovation on the existing railway line, which is a link for the Kandla-Bhatinda line. The deputy chief engineer of Ahmedabad division had sought an NOC from the NMA, but the request was turned down.
This was stated by Union ministry of cultural affairs in reply to Rajya Sabha MP Dilip Pandya. The ministry further stated that so far there no report has been received regarding damage to Rani-ki-Vav due to running of trains.
The minister said that the after perusal of the application, it was observed in the NMA that this project involves construction of a railway track and will adversely affect the protected site. Since Ran-ki-Vav is a prohibited area and the proposed renovation was about 67m from Rani-ki-Vav and 13m from the protected boundary wall of the monument, construction was not permissible and Railways may explore realignment of the track.
However, after the denial of permission, several meetings were held between officials of the railways, National Monuments Authority and Archaeological Survey of India and a revised proposal was received for the renovation of the abandoned MG railway line near Rani-ki-Vav on an alternative alignment.
The NMA had in the meeting on April 10 given the NOC, subject to approval by the Archaeological Survey of India. The abandoned metre gauge line is 102.54 from the prohibited area.