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Decoding and Revisiting the National Policy on Heritage conservation

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Decoding and Revisiting National Policy for Heritage Conservation and
Management.
 Ar Jit Kumar Gupta
 Jit.Kumar1944@gma...
outside India, for ensuring the continuing existence of all monuments that were
earlier known to be or discovered in a fra...
supportive of conservation, policy provides for effective and efficient
management of tourism and development, within and ...
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Decoding and Revisiting the National Policy on Heritage conservation

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National Policy for the Heritage Conservation and Management of the protected Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains , has been framed in the year 2014, by the Ministry of Culture in the Department of Archeological Survey of India. Archaeological Department, being the premier and apex agency entrusted with the task of managing valuable heritage, is primarily involved and engaged in performing two basic functions namely; conservation and investigation. National Heritage Policy remains limited in scope, intent and contents, in the sense that it addresses issues and options involving only conservation and management of Monuments and Archaeological sites. It does not include and addresses issues and options related to the conservation and management of natural and cultural intangible heritage. National policy needs to reviewed , revised and redefined to make it more effective and efficient and
more productive.

National Policy for the Heritage Conservation and Management of the protected Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains , has been framed in the year 2014, by the Ministry of Culture in the Department of Archeological Survey of India. Archaeological Department, being the premier and apex agency entrusted with the task of managing valuable heritage, is primarily involved and engaged in performing two basic functions namely; conservation and investigation. National Heritage Policy remains limited in scope, intent and contents, in the sense that it addresses issues and options involving only conservation and management of Monuments and Archaeological sites. It does not include and addresses issues and options related to the conservation and management of natural and cultural intangible heritage. National policy needs to reviewed , revised and redefined to make it more effective and efficient and
more productive.

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Decoding and Revisiting the National Policy on Heritage conservation

  1. 1. Decoding and Revisiting National Policy for Heritage Conservation and Management.  Ar Jit Kumar Gupta  Jit.Kumar1944@gmail.com National Policy for the Heritage Conservation and Management of the protected Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains , has been framed in the year 2014, by the Ministry of Culture in the Department of Archeological Survey of India. Archaeological Department, being the premier and apex agency entrusted with the task of managing valuable heritage, is primarily involved and engaged in performing two basic functions namely; conservation and investigation. National Heritage Policy remains limited in scope, intent and contents, in the sense that it addresses issues and options involving only conservation and management of Monuments and Archaeological sites. It does not include and addresses issues and options related to the conservation and management of natural and cultural intangible heritage. Vision; Policy of conservation and management has been visioned; ‘ not only to take forward already laid out objectives of safeguarding monuments and sites of national importance but also bringing in renewed impetus for contemporizing and indigenizing the conservation approach’. In addition, the policy aims at, “redefining the process of conservation of monuments, to make it more dynamic by intertwining the sustenance of their physical fabric with their overall effective management and conservation, along with their setting with utmost care, to be cherished upon by the nation as a national treasure”. Preamble; Policy, besides vision ,also includes a detailed preamble which states the ; magnitude of the wealth of the Indian Heritage; past history of conservation and management; role performed by the Archaeological Survey of India; issues faced in the domain of conservation and management of heritage and the new strategy proposed to be taken for making the entire process of conservation and management more rational, objective, focused, effective and efficient. The Preamble states and includes; i. Heritage Wealth; India has an extraordinarily rich, vast and diverse cultural heritage that has left a huge corpus of built heritage across the country. A glimpse of this richness and variety can be seen in the form of monuments and archaeological sites, 3,678 monuments and sites including 20 world heritage properties, to date, that are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (hereafter ASI). Their sheer magnitude in number alone is overwhelming besides the fact that these are iconic symbols of India’s diverse cultural expressions and historic continuity. ii. Critical Role of ASI; ASI, during its history spanning over 152 years of its existence, has undertaken large scale conservation initiatives, both within and
  2. 2. outside India, for ensuring the continuing existence of all monuments that were earlier known to be or discovered in a fragile or vulnerable state. Without timely interventions and continuous safeguarding, many of the monuments and sites would have disappeared and lost to humanity forever. Enormous conservation works carried out by ASI have been well documented and archived in the form of a repository of images, drawings, inspection notes, and recorded in large number of publications. iii. Archaeological Policies; The conservation, safeguarding and protection of monuments in India, is primarily based on the guidelines and the principles defined in the; Indian Archaeological Policy, 1915 & Conservation Manual: Handbook for the Use of Archaeological Officers and others Entrusted with the Care of Ancient Monuments, 1923, for the monuments besides following the various international charters and guidelines framed for conserving and protecting monuments. iv. Changing Role of Archaeological Officers; Functional domain of an archaeological officer now extends beyond, merely safeguarding of monuments and also includes; maintainingand sustaining monumentsetting and environment; continuously engaging with communities residing within the proximity of a monument or inextricably associated with the monument itself. v. Impact of Tourism; Monuments and archaeological sites, which are a finite and non-renewable cultural resource, are being subjected to an ever-increasing pressure from development and increase in number of tourists visiting them, which has adversely impacted them. Policy also evaluates and provides options for safeguarding the monuments from the undue pressures and problems created by the uncontrolled tourism. Aims of Policy; In view of the preamble define above, the proposed Policy aims at; i. Adopting innovative and contemporary options; Besides drawing lessons and inspirations from the ASI’s rich legacy for conservation, policy acknowledges and values the adoption of contemporary approaches to conservation, management and protection of monuments and archaeological sites and proposes application of various innovative and state of art principles of interventions within and around them. ii. Valuing Traditions ; Considering the role and importance of traditional skills available in the country, Policy focusses on providing, for making optimum use of available traditional craftsmanship in the country; using traditional building materials, practices and skills as an integral part of the art and science of conservation process. iii. Managing Tourism; Considering the adverse impact of uncontrolled and unregulated tourism on the valuable heritage sites and to make tourism
  3. 3. supportive of conservation, policy provides for effective and efficient management of tourism and development, within and around a monument ,. iv. Building Capacities ;Policy also provides for putting in place on priority, appropriate processes and procedures to be adopted, for addressing the issues of capacity building and building partnerships with multi-disciplinary organizations and institutions at local, state and national levels to ensure identification, conservation and management of heritage. v. Involving Communities; The Policy attempts to put a monument in perspective ,as a ubiquitous part of its setting and underpins the role of local communities and involving them as an active partner in the conservation of monuments. vi. Focusing on Ancient Monuments; The proposed Policy is limited to and primarily focuses on, all Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains, declared as monuments of national importance under the AMASR (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010 and does not, for the time being, include unprotected built heritage. vii. Dynamism; The Policyis envisagedas a; dynamicdocument put into operation which will be subjected to periodical reviews/revisions, from time to time, to make more dynamic; relevant to changing times, contexts and ever changing needs of heritage conservation and management in the country. viii. Adoption by States; Considering the ambit, objective, focus, scope, purpose and distinct advantages offered, proposed Policy calls for adoption and making it applicable to a vast number of state’s protected monuments, spread over the country to have a holistic approach to protection of such monuments. Structure of the Policy; The entire policy is structured and revolves around looking at the different components involved in heritage conservation and management. These components include; Introduction to policy; explaining monuments and its context; defining terms used in the policy; defining principles to be adopted for conservation; detailing conservation approach; adopting value based approach for conservation of monuments; explaining role and importance of involving building craftsmanship and craftsman; method and approach to be used for buildingcapacity of various stakeholders; options for tourism and visitor’s management ; methods and approach to be used for illuminating monuments; promoting public-private partnership in the domain of heritage conservation; involving communities as partners in heritage conservation and management; ensuring universal access to physically challenged and adopting new intervention within a monuments. Policy concludes with defining options and strategies to make monuments safe against manmade and natural disasters. Policy also includes few endnotes. Various components defined for the national policy are detailed below; Introduction;
  4. 4. Introduction explains the derivatives and thoughts/ideas/factors, which have gone into and form the basis of the formulation of the national policy .These include;  Reflecting and learning based on Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)’s vast experience in conservation of monuments across the country ;  Appreciating the richness and diversity of our country’s protected monuments pan India.  Drawing upon various international charters and guidelines for conservation with a view to adapting them to the Indian context as well as Conservation Manual (1923) with the need to update, in order to deal with contemporary issues of conservation and management;  Acknowledging and identifying that monuments are not only non-living but are as well the living heritage thus necessitating and including the role of local communities in their conservation and management;  Understanding that the country still has well established building crafts and traditions and raj mistris, sthapatis, stone carvers, carpenters, crafts-persons, etc., who can play make value addition and important role in the conservation of monuments;  Accepting that conservation is a multi-disciplinary enterprise , requiring involving professionals from related fields for promoting holistic understanding of an intervention;  Considering the necessity of a contemporizing and indigenizing approach for conserving monuments for posterity; Based on above, National Policy for the Conservation of Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains, has been proposed and detailed as follows: 1.Monument and its Context; Chapter defines and details monuments in terms of definitions, context, setting, time, structure; siting, location, usage, materials, technology used in construction, architectural/ornamental style, impact of different regions/cultures, preservation conservation and identification of heritage values etc, as detailed below. o “Ancient Monument” as, structure, place of interment, cave, rock- sculpture, inscription, remains, land, sites, means of access, having historical, archaeological or artistic values in existence for not less than one hundred years. o “Archaeological Site and Remains”, as area which contains/ believed to contain ;ruins , relics of historical or archaeological importance, land, means of access which have been in existence for not less than one hundred years, o Policy covers and made applicable to monuments and archaeological sites protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, as defined in the
  5. 5. Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010 o “Monuments” comprise a vast array of human-built edifices, representing various categories, e.g., religious, secular, defensive, funerary, landscapes, etc.; which may be ‘functional’ or ‘nonfunctional’ o “Monuments” built as part of an urban, rural or natural context / setting ; conceived as integral and inseparable part of their immediate context /setting. o Monuments reflecting building materials construction techniques, architectural styles and styles of ornamentation ,reflecting influences of other regions and diverse cultures o Monuments, once declared monuments of national importance, should be valued and conserved for perpetuity for their uniqueness as tangible manifestation of historical and cultural events and as national treasures or national icons o Monuments , declared as monuments of national importance deemed to have high degree of archaeological, historical, cultural and ecological architectural, values. Monuments can have a single / a combination of these values o All monuments remain irreplaceable and non-renewable cultural resource of the country, irrespective of their scale, location and type, o Understanding and interpretation of a “Monument” has changed with more categories of historic buildings and sites being included and considered heritage for conservation by countries across the world. The process of identifying monuments of national importance should not be limited in scope and action; and should continue to enlarge. o 2. Terms and Definitions; Policy defines few important and relevant terms used related to conservation of monuments which include;  Conservation means the processes through which material, design and integrity of the monument is safeguarded in terms of its archaeological and architectural value, its historic significance and its cultural or intangible associations.  Structure means any building, equipment, device or other facility which is fixed to the land and is a part of the monument, site and/or archaeological remains.  Intervention means the action undertaken with the objective of conservation, for safeguarding a monument and its integrity.  Fabric means all movable and immovable contents of or within a monument including its setting.  Maintenance or preventive conservation means and includes such care of a monument as is exercised in order to prevent damage and deterioration and to
  6. 6. avoid an intervention as long as possible. All monuments should be duly maintained in order to retain their significance and regularly monitored to thwart any major unnecessary intervention.  Preservation means maintaining the status quo of a monument including its setting thereby not allowing any changes, either through deliberate human interventions or due to action of natural agents of decay to its fabric or its immediate environment.  Repair means removing or replacing decayed or damaged material or portion of a monument in order to impart stability and to prevent loss of original material.  Restoration means bringing back the monument or any part thereof, as nearly as possible, to an earlier known state or condition.  Reassembly or Reinstatement (Anastylosis) means putting existing dismembered parts back together.  Adaptation or Adaptive Reuse means modifying a lesser significance part of the monument, or a place inside or outside it, to a compatible use, involving, as little as, possible loss of value  Reconstruction means to rebuild in the original form.  Retrofitting means to consolidate a monument’s structure by inserting new parts or material, using new technology in order to improve their safety and to make them functional.  Scientific clearance means systematic removal of historic building material, debris, buried within or outside the monument, not necessarily at that location; to retrieve any buried architectural members or sculptures, etc., with the purpose of study, investigation and possible reinstatement or, in case it is not feasible, to remove and preserve them in a safer environment.  Stabilization or Consolidation means action to arrest of processes of decay using external agents that are “time tested and proven scientifically”.  Transplantation or Translocation means removing the monument from its existing location and relocating it at an appropriate alternate location.  Cleaning means periodic removal of any harmful encrustations or non-original surface deposits and bio-deteriorating agents from the surface of a monument.  Authenticity is a value / significance imparted to a monument through a truthful and accurate depiction of one or more of the following elements: location and setting; form and design; materials, construction techniques and building craftsmanship; and function and traditional management systems.  Integrity is the quality/ extent of the completeness / intactness of the monument demonstrated through its attributes such as structural, functional (in case of a living monument) and visual. 3 Conservation Principles; to be followed for undertaking conservation, should include and involve;
  7. 7.  Conservation of monuments is undertaken when deemed necessary, in order to: (a) prolong its life and existence; (b) prevent damage and deterioration; (c) minimise the impact of external agents on its setting, structure and material; (d) prepare it for natural or human induced disasters.  Monument/archaeological site should be subjected to minimum /necessary - interventions to maintain its authenticity and integrity.  Original / historical material and an architectural / ornamental detail (structural or non-structural), must be valued and retained as long as possible and should not be replaced without conducting a proper investigation  All efforts should be made to retain its value ,significance, authenticity ,integrity, visual connections to maintain its original / historic appearance and kept in its original state  Conservation should be treated as a continuous process with adequate resources (human and financial) made available to conserve it for posterity.  Conservation should not be based on any conjecture or artistic imagination but driven by reliable documentary evidences  Conservation should be treated as a multi-disciplinary enterprise that focuses on developing holistic solutions based on careful study and analysis of all relevant aspects .  Conservation to focus on maintaining original / historical material for sustaining the time-dimension and faithfully maintaining its authenticity.  Restoration, consolidation, reproduction and retrofitting carried out should be clearly discernible as a later alteration / repair / restoration, etc., clearly separating them from the original fabric of the structure. Such interventions should be made reversible in nature. The decision should be carefully recorded and documented for posterity. 4. Conservation Approach; Conservation approach of monuments should invariably revolve around and based on;  Employingappropriatescientific technology and equipment for understanding and documenting physical nature, materials, construction technology and current condition.  Including and involving intervention within the structure / fabric and protection / maintenance of the setting or environment of the monument.  Regular monitoring and continuous care of a monument both in Short-term Mid- term and Long-term with appropriate plans developed and implemented to prevent any deterioration of the structure that may warrant unnecessary comprehensive conservation work later.  Undertaking detailed documentation before conserving a monument for understanding the nature of the fabric/value/status of the monument and using it as basis for preparing Conservation Plan
  8. 8.  Undertaking periodic Regular inspection to examine the condition of a monument for preparing necessary conservation program/ plan.  Drawing, reviewing, revising and redefining Annual Conservation Plan (ACP) clearly prioritizing conservation works based on available resources with priority going to essential works critical for preserving the monument. Such plans should also include; providing amenities or necessary infrastructure within monuments.  Preparing a Conservation Plan before undertaking actual conservation work for understand the proposed interventions; adopting value-based approach to conservation and outline the extent of proposed conservation interventions. Conservation Plans should be reviewed, revised and redefined on regular basis to evaluate previous measures and their effectiveness; incorporating modifications essential for maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the monument.  Preparing Site Management Plans by involving multidisciplinary team of professionals to address all relevant extrinsic and intrinsic issues, conserve and manage a monument along with its setting.  Conservation works should be peer reviewed from time to time by a group of multidisciplinary experts who should examine the quality of on-going conservation works and whether conservation is being carried out according to the approved conservation plan.  Documenting entire process of conservation using maps, drawings, photographs, digital records/notes for creating continuous records of interventions and understanding all past and current interventions in the future.  Critical attention paid where a monument is in use and continues to perform its originally intended function. Conservation and functional / administrative approach adopted for such a monument should be made harmonious and complementary activity so that its authenticity and integrity is not compromised.  Replacing original / historical material or details should be done with care and caution without impacting archaeological or architectural integrity of the monument. Replacement of parts of the material fabric/ detail may be considered when inherent material strength or structural integrity is lost; or to prevent further deterioration, formation of faults or decay of other portions of the structure Missing or damaged sculptures, idols, wall paintings, inscriptions, etc., should not be replaced or attempted to be completed.  Replacing original material or detail must be used as an exception/ last option and shall be undertaken only when no other conservation action can ensure its in- situ survival. Replaced original material / detail should invariably be stored in a safe environment for conducting further investigations / research, or even put on display for the purpose of education or study.  Time-dimension (i.e. antiquity or age) should be maintained by preserving the patina (benign surface encrustation) of the material or its surfaces (exterior and
  9. 9. interior). Cleaning of the material should be undertaken after thorough research and documentation, in a manner that all bio-deterioration agents and harmful / non-original surface encrustations are removed, while maintaining patina.  Avoidingthe use of inappropriate chemicals for cleaning surfaces and synthetically produced building materials for conservation. Use of synthetically produced material in repair, restoration or renovation should be based on prior investigation  Conservation, protecting ,preserving fragile ornamentation and its material and visual integrity, in-situ, should invariably backed by scientific knowledge. In case of failure, efforts should be made to remove them and place them in a safe environment. Replacement when made should be with reproductions of the same profile and specifications to maintain architectural integrity. This, should be done only as an exception and not as a rule.  Respecting additions / alterations made at different in time that have contributed to the development or evolution of a monument. Inappropriate additions and/or alterations made to the monument, having direct impact on its authenticity / integrity, should be undone /removed and monument restored to either its original or an earlier known state, depending upon the available evidences. No, original or pre-modern part, be removed on grounds of improving the appearance of the monument, or changing its complexion, or to achieve a better perceived conformity with its function.  Consolidation carried out by inserting new material or using of chemicals, should be based on the nature and specifications of the original / historical material. The new material used for the conservation should match in specification the original / historic material or should be complementary and compatible.  Landscapingand horticultural practices, within and around a monument invariably provide a cleaner, dust free microenvironment; create comfortable spaces and enhance visual perception. Introducing a new landscape within and / or around a monument should put greater emphasis on the use of local flora, and should, as far as possible, be least maintenance oriented and be self-sustainable.  Formal landscapesincluding historic gardens , intrinsically designed and laid out, as a part of a monument, should be preserved to the extent possible, as per the original design and intent, yet respecting various historic layers of interventions. Any contemporary inappropriate alterations should be carefully removed and replaced without damaging the historic landscape and its layout, by using appropriate technology to establish conformity with the original plantation and species of flora that were planted and laid out in the historic garden.  Conservation should not limit only to structural interventions but wherever necessary, should include restoration of historic interiors which alleviates the visitor’s experience and understanding of the function of a monument. Historic/original furniture and furnishings, including illumination, can be
  10. 10. authentically restored in mediaeval forts and palaces, based on documentary or material evidence. Historic interiors of the ancient monuments should never ever be used as recreation spaces.  Special care should be taken at archaeological sites or mounds wherein architectural remains or artefacts found on its surface or sub-surface should also be carefully preserved at site or in case not feasible should be carefully removed (after proper documentation) from the site to be kept in safe custody. It should be accordingly decided whether the extracted architectural or structural remains could be used during the process of preservation of the archaeological site (anastylosis). 5. Conservation of Monuments using Value-based Approach;  Value based approach used in the domain of conservation intervention for monuments has been globally valued and accepted. Approach is based on the value / significance of the monument, which finally determines the nature and extent of intervention required for its conservation.  Imperative of such value based approach is derived from the nature / typology of a monument and from the interpretation of its value / significance.  Preservation should remain the major objective in the case of monuments having high archaeological value, which have decorative features such as , applied ornamentation; wall paintings, inscriptions and calligraphy, sculptures, etc.;  Restoration may be undertaken on monuments with high architectural value and only in parts of a monument, having missing geometric or floral patterns, or damaged structural members .  Attempt should never be made to restore an entire building, which would falsify history and will compromise its authenticity.  Decorative features such as wall paintings, inscriptions, calligraphy and sculptures should also not be restored.  Reconstruction may be undertaken in extreme cases and on such monuments wherein such an intervention is the only way to retain or retrieve their integrity / context and without which its survival is impossible. Such cases could include, damage or destruction caused due to the impact of a disaster or structural failure, and should be undertaken only on the basis of evidence and not conjecture.  Reproduction of members of a monument may be undertaken where original members (structural and / or ornamental) have deteriorated and lost their structural and material integrity and removing these from their original location is the only way to safeguarding those members as well as the monument itself.  Sympathetic and Adaptive Reuse can be undertaken only in the ancillary portions of a monument, for maintaining /sustaining/servicing the monument namely, setting up of ASI’s field offices, interpretation centres, inspection rooms,
  11. 11. storage spaces, public amenities, etc. and should exclude construction of residential buildings.  Transplantation or Translocation of a monument should be done only as an exception, when the monument cannot be maintained or preserved in its original surrounding and is the only option left for safeguarding the integrity of the monument. Transplantation should precede comprehensive documentation, and thorough recording of all events and circumstances that necessitate such intervention. Translocation of the monument should be undertaken after careful analysis of the new site to which the relocation is proposed and aspects such as soil investigation 6 Valuing Role of Building Craftsmanship;  National policy provides for valuing craftsmanship and skilled manpower available in the country and optimizing its benefit by involving them in the process of conservation, by engagaing traditional masons, crafts persons, carvers, etc., who pursue their traditional practices in different parts of the country; practice pre- modern traditions of construction, detailing, sculpting, carving, painting and traditional knowledge systems developed and inherited by them, which are in consonance with the understanding of ritualistic aspects and principles and with elements of design employed in the construction or carving of architectural or ornamental members embellishing a monument.  Crafts-persons that comprise traditional builders and masons such as sthapatis, stone carvers, carpenters, woodcarvers, ironsmiths, painters, etc., , can play a great role in the conservation process as they are living repositories of building and artistic traditions, which have been sustained through generations.  Traditional skills should invariably be utilised in the maintenance, repair and conservation of monuments for which they are relevant.  Employment of crafts-persons and utilisation of their skills should be limited to the restoration and reproduction of geometric designs, patterns and carvings as well as in the implementation of restoration and reproduction of designs in historic interiors that is based on documentary or in-situ evidences.Traditional craftsmanship could also be widely used for the reconstruction or the adaptive reuse of a monument.  Conservation should be used for supporting and encouraging these traditional masons and crafts-persons as well as nurture their traditional systems of knowledge and schools.  Traditional knowledge systems should be documented, encouraged and transmitted to the younger generation for perpetuating their participation and learning in these building crafts techniques. Such persons should form the heritage manpower resource pool which can then be employed, as and `when required, in the conservation of monuments.
  12. 12.  Conservation should be seen not merely as a product-centric enterprise (i.e., conservation of a monument) but also valued as a process-centric endeavour wherein promoting and sustaining building crafts, and communities associated with these, become an integral procedure in safeguarding a monument. 7. Capacity Building ;  Considering the fact that Conservation of a monument, being multi-disciplinary and scientific enterprise, demands regular training and creation of professional expertise involving archaeologists, conservation architects, engineers, scientists, horticulturists, historians, planners, surveyors, etc., Accordingly Capacity building has to be undertaken not only for professionals within ASI, but also with allied professions, professionals, technicians, academicians, crafts-persons, etc., so as to update and upgrade present conservation methods and to enable the adoption and adaptation of best conservation practices available anywhere nationally or internationally. There is a strong need to develop, maintain and regularly update a pool of trained and skilled conservators, artisans and craft-persons who must be engaged in and exposed to a variety of conservation activities, nationally and internationally, from time to time depending on the expertise and skills required for specific conservation projects  Capacity building in the art and science of heritage conservation can be promoted and ensured by; - Providing responsibility for documenting and conserving these monuments to the ASI technical staff or professionals having undergone proper training in conservation. - - Producing qualified and sufficiently experienced professional well versed with the nature and behaviour of historic materials and their application including the impact of agents (natural and human- induced) that cause their decay and deterioration. - -- Encouraging imparting training to professionals and practitioners and offer specialisation in conservation and management of monuments by more and more universities and educational institutions. -Running , evolving and conducting specialised courses at doctoral, post-graduate and graduate levels including short-term courses on regular basis so as to train young professionals and practitioners. --Encouraging and promoting collaborative programmes amongst institutions, organisations and laboratories working and researching on the different aspects of documentation and conservation in order to share information and expertise in these fields. -Imparting in-service training to officials of the Central and State agencies, responsible for the conservation of State-protected
  13. 13. monuments or unprotected historical buildings so as to enhance their knowledge and skills in various fields of conservation and management of monuments 7 Promotional / Outreach Programmes;  Generating public awareness; educating and involving people by instilling a sense of delight, appreciation and pride for monuments; making people understand the importance of various legislations in protecting heritage and joining hands with various agencies , engaged in protecting the tangible cultural wealth for posterity, remains valuable to make the entire process of conservation people/community led.  For creating awareness and involving communities; agencies made responsible for the conservation of monuments should, therefore organize periodically, awareness campaigns and promotional / outreach programmes about the monuments of the country; focusing on aspects related to their history and educating/ sensitising local communities in preserving these monuments; encouraging visitors to engage themselves in the discoveries at the site at Museums attached to the monuments; developing and freely distributing special pamphlets, literature and brochures to the visitors, while acquainting them with the history and context of the monument and holding heritage march, organizing exhibitions and seminars on heritage conservation. 8. Tourism and Visitor Management ;  Policy also tries to focus on and address the issue of adverse impact on monuments due to uncontrolled tourism led by unprecedent interest amongst national and foreign visitors . Tourists visit monuments for a variety of reasons namely; education, information, pilgrimage, recreation entertainment, gaining knowledge /insight about the history of a monument and about the social, cultural and economic aspects and its contemporary society, which needs to be enhanced and encouraged.  Tourism, remains a double edged weapon , if it plays an important role in promoting economy and necessary infrastructure ; it is also known to be responsible for decay and deterioration of monuments due to over-crowding and developmental pressures generated. Accordingly determining the carrying capacity of a monument, especially where tourists visit in very high numbers, will be very critical.  For better protecting/ preserving monuments, number of visitors and their access should be limited and managed on temporary/permanent basis to areas or parts that are highly vulnerable to decay and / or deterioration, keeping in view the fragility, rarity as well as apprehensions of permanent irreversible damage
  14. 14.  Suitable and appropriate level of facilities / infrastructure should be created within or near the monument for the convenience of visitors including; parking, toilets, cloak room, potable water, audio-guide facilities, ticket booths, souvenir counter, interpretation centre etc., besides making available guidebooks or pamphlets indicating monument’s history, its architecture and planning, and various do’s and don’ts, for enhancing visitor’s experience/ understanding of the site.  Interpretation Centres, known to significantly contribute to the understanding and appraisal of a monument and should be suitably designed and established at suitable locations. Such centres should provide information about monument’s history, architecture , events associated and setting, using appropriate medium, technology and innovative methods of interpretation in multiple languages. These centres should be constructed in vernacular architecture using materials and technologies similar to monument  Visitor approach and circulation should be properly worked out to facilitate movement within/outside the monument for achieving optimum accessibility.  Adequately and appropriately designed signages (sign-boards) should be provided at access points, points of entry and at appropriate locations to explain authentically its history and nature and / or its significance and values. Signages (Sign-boards) should be clearly legible and materials should complement the nature of the monument. 10 Illumination of a Monument;  Appropriate lighting and interplay of light and shade invariably improves and enhances the value of a monument. Accordingly, monuments may be illuminated for the benefit of visitors and local communities to invite attention to their form and silhouette as well as for their security.  Illumination should be done in a way that the monument is not subjected to bright lights that may attract insects, especially during monsoons, or fade the colour of its surfaces, especially when these are painted or carved and have decorative features .  Appropriate technology should be selected for illumination; Lighting, wiring, and related utilities should be designed and located in a manner that these are not visible; technology used should be self-sustainable and easy to maintain and use of natural sources of energy should be encouraged, without impacting the visual integrity of the monument.
  15. 15. 11 Valuing Public-Private Partnership ;  Looking at the enormity of work; ever rising number of visitors; increasing maintenance and operational cost and limited availability of resources with the parastatal agencies; involving public sectors becomes important. Accordingly, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) assumes greater significance in the conservation and management of our monuments .Private participation could be promoted in the area of providing visitor amenities, signages (sign-boards), and amelioration of the environment around monuments. 12.Community Participation in Conservation;  Considering the critical role and importance of local communities ; particularly in “living” monuments ,which are used by the local communities, active involvement of local communities becomes vital and important for rational conservation and management of a monument. Local communities often assist in addressing many challenges faced in conserving and managing a monument and its environs. Community should be engaged in all the decision-making processes involving conservation and management.  Making communities aware of the basic aspects of conservation and management enables establishing inextricable linkages between communities and monument; helping generate employment opportunities at local level and promoting sustenance of local crafts and encouragement to undertake tourism related activities. 13.Access for the Differently-abled persons;  Monuments should be made accessible to all the visitors including differently-abled by employing all means possible to facilitate access, including providing specially designed visitor amenities, information and interpretation of the monument. Due care should be taken that facilities and access provided do not compromise the authenticity and integrity of the monument or create a visual chaos. Where providing such an access leads to major physical interventions within the monument’s structure that impacts its integrity, then alternate options to create special areas within or around the monument from where maximum view of the monument can be enjoyed, should be made available. 14.New Interventions within a monument;  Monuments exhibit an inherent dynamism as they continue to ‘evolve’ in terms of their existence in the continually changing environment surrounding it. It may be necessary at times to intervene within or around a monument for providing amenities for visitors or for proper functioning
  16. 16. of the ASI staff or to address security concerns within and around the monument.  Such new interventions should be done with great care and caution so that it do not reduce its significance ;values of its environment, design, material, colour or scale with preference going to materials that are compatible with its historic building fabric or vernacular (local) which reflects the building characteristics of the region and blend with the historic character of the monument  New materials or construction techniques when employed should be handled with great care and sensitivity, so that these do not become eye-sores with the passage of time or spoil the appearance of the monument.  While the main monument should not be subjected to any reuse; ancillary or secondary structures may be considered for “sympathetic and compatible” reuse subject to restrictions  Interventions within the prohibited and regulated zone extending 300 metres beyond the protected limit of the monuments should be governed by the framing of heritage bye-laws, covering aspects related to building elevations, façades, drainage systems, civic infrastructure, etc. It has to be done with great care, caution and sensitivity to avoid any unnecessary hardships caused to the community living in the neighbourhood of monument. 15 Disaster Management;  Considering the age, material used, technologies adopted and lack of awareness about the impact of disasters; monuments and archaeological sites are increasingly being subjected to a variety of hazards ,making them highly vulnerability to natural and manmade threats and risks. Accordingly, making them safe should be considered as a priority area in conservation process.  Making monuments safe against disasters should invariably involve; assessing the behavior of structural members against disasters; location of the monument; retrofitting of monument for making it safe; Preparing and capacity building of agencies involved inmitigating and managing disasters; developing mechanisms for quick Response and Recovery; imparting training to identify disasters , undertake impact assessment, assess current levels of preparedness and to coordinate with various agencies both at Central, State and local levels, developing a quick response post-disaster programme and actions; will remain valuable for promoting safety of monuments.  Making disaster management integral part of Conservation Plan ;Providing adequate facilities, within/outside the monument, for giving emergency
  17. 17. treatment/aid to victim; defining/ demarcating access and evacuation routes through appropriate signage for visitors; safeguarding the lives of people within the monument or living in its vicinity, and safeguarding the monument; will remain crucial for improving their response mechanisms during the disaster. Conclusion; Document remains very comprehensive and detailed document, representing the first attempt ever made to look holistically at the heritage as a subject matter at the national level. It is based on the knowledge, experience, expertise and understanding developed by ASI during its 152 years of professional journey, However, there remains few issues which need to be addressed as part of the policy are enumerated below;  Looking at the entire gamut, intent and contents explained above ,National Policy on Heritage conservation remains both myopic in scale and limited in scope, since it revolves around only historical monuments and Archaeological survey of India. Policy even does not address the entire gamut of monuments because it excludes all state specific monuments from the scope of the policy  Policy excludes large volume of heritage involving cultural, natural and intangible heritage and accordingly addresses very limited wealth of heritage in India. Accordingly, national policy should be enlarged in the scope and intent to address the entire gamut of heritage in order to have a holistic vision of heritage and its conservation/ preservation.  Policy remains only statement specific since it does not provide any mechanism and strategy for implementation of policy at ground.  Policy limits the entire scope of conservation by confining it to the ASI listed/protected monuments only, it does not include as to how the heritage identification, conservation and management can be made a mass movement involving all states, communities and agencies operating at local level.  Policy does not create adequate mechanism and space for empowering urban local bodies and rural agencies, which are the most valuable agencies operating at local level in the art and science of heritage management.  Generating adequate financial resources for implementing the policy and taking forward the message of heritage management to ground , remains conspicuous by its absence in the policy.  Policy must include and explain , how the expertise gained by ASI during its 152 years of experience can be shared and disseminated with all the agencies operating at national, state, district and local levels in the domain of heritage conservation make heritage as one of the important elements of human living.  Policy fails to appreciate and acknowledge the need, role and importance of involving various professional institutions like Institute of Town Planners, Institute of Architects, Institute of Engineers, Institute of interior designers, Institute of
  18. 18. urban designers, landscape architects etc., in the domain of heritage conservation and management.  Policy must include and involve various educational institutions of higher learning operating in imparting teaching-learning in the area of art, architecture, planning, history, culture, engineering, management etc. To work in the domain of heritage identification at local and regional levels; making heritage integral part of study curricula; adopting nearby existing heritage for proper preservation and conservation.  Policy also ignores the need and importance of asking state governments to strengthen and empowering its departments/agencies operating in heritage conservation by handholding, imparting training and sharing good examples of conserving heritage.  Policy also needs to provide and create appropriate mechanism for training the professionals in the domain of heritage conservation by co-operating and collaborating with all national level institutions including SPAs, IITs; NITs, Universities and eminent institutions of higher learning, to create a pool of heritage professional.  Technology has an important role in documenting, identification, planning, conservation and management of heritage, remains missing from the policy, which needs to be made integral part of the national policy.  Decentralization of ASI remains crucial for identifying and managing the enormous wealth of heritage existing in the country. Accordingly policy must include options for such decentralization’.  Documenting and sharing good practices used in heritage conservation, both at local and global levels, should have been made integral part of national policy in order to empowering the implementation agencies and making available new concepts followed at the national and global levels.  India must come with its own charter on the pattern of BURRA Charter of Heritage conservation in order to define the entire gamut of heritage conservation in the Indian context.  Preparing Atlas of the existing monuments, on the pattern of Disaster Atlas prepared by BMTPC, should also be made part of the heritage policy, in order to document and disseminate the heritage knowledge with all stakeholders including academic institutions, professional institutions, states , research scholars and communities .  Constitution of inter-disciplinary committees/groups at central, state and local level should have been made part of the policy for its effective dissemination and application at the national, state and local levels.
  19. 19. Note; The above text is based on the document titles, ‘National Policy for the Heritage Conservation and Management of the Protected Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains, 2014”, prepared by the Ministry of Culture in the Department of Archeological Survey of India; which is thankfully and gratefully acknowledged. Author; * Ar. J.K. Gupta Former Advisor (Town Planning) Punjab Urban Development Authority Founder Director, College of Architecture, IET Bhaddal , Punjab #344, Sector 40-A, Chandigarh-160036, mail; -jit.kumar1944@gmail.com, Mob- 090410-26414

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