Following are the excerpts from the “Report to the People 2009-10”, released by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on 1st June 2010.
“In a major intervention to further safeguard India’s priceless monuments and archaeological sites, the Central government has recently amended the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, which prohibits construction, including public projects, within the 100 metre ‘prohibited area’. It has also been stipulated that Heritage Bye-laws shall be prepared for each of these protected monuments so as to regulate building activities in the next 200 metre ‘regulated area’ that lies beyond the 100 metre ‘prohibited area’. A National Monuments Authority is being set up as the apex body to oversee the implementation of the Act.
Strict provisions have been introduced to ensure that the ever-increasing threats to monuments of national importance are arrested and its proper enforcement would ensure that India’s valuable cultural heritage is better preserved and protected.
A conscious policy decision was taken to professionalise cultural institutions.
In the last year, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) has organized eight major cultural events, namely, the Braj Bhumi festival, Nature Bazar, Surabhi Theatre festival, Inter-cultural Dialogue between North East India and South East Asia, International Federation of Library Association Conference, Vasant Bazar, Gharana festival and Women on Record: A Musical event. It is estimated that approximately seven to eight lakh people witnessed these events.
Rs. 20 crore has been sanctioned for the upgradation of Sardar Patel’s memorials at Ahmedabad and Karamsad.
Preparations have started to commemorate the 150th birth anniversaries of Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda, both nationally and internationally.
A project to set up a memorial for Shaheed Bhagat Singh, at his native place at Khatkar Kalan, has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 16.80 crore. Rs. 46.38 crore have been released to the Government of Punjab for development of Talwandi Sabo and Anandpur Saheb as part of the concluding phase of the ter-centenary of Guru-ta-Gaddi of the Guru Granth Saheb.”