The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is planning a heritage map for the country, logging in unprotected monuments and antiquities to curb trafficking and ensure they are not neglected. The Rs 90-crore project, National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities, proposes a locational analysis that would include not only the protected monuments but thousands of others which according to the project document are ‘‘unprotected or in utter state of neglect’’. As of now, only 3,659 built heritage sites are protected by the ASI; about 3,500 are conserved by the states.
Each site will be documented with drawings, photographs, satellite imagery and aerial photography to place the cultural heritage in a chronological order according to a standardised procedure of mapping. The data will be compiled from both published and unpublished literature. The ASI had, earlier, got approval from the Planning Commission for setting up two projects—one on monuments and another on antiquities at a higher outlay of Rs 400 crore. For the mapping though, the outlay has been been scaled down to Rs 90 crore.