National Monuments Authority (NMA) under the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India has been setup as per provisions of The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains AMASR (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010 which was enacted in March, 2010. Several functions have been assigned to the NMA for the protection and preservation of monuments and sites through management of the prohibited and regulated area around the centrally protected monuments. One amongst these responsibilities of NMA is also to consider grant of permissions to applicants for construction related activity in the prohibited and regulated area.
National Monuments Authority has been mandated to categorize all the protected monuments and protected areas declared as of National importance as per provision of Section 20 I of ‘The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010' and the procedure has been envisaged in NMA Rules 4-A (1) (2) notified in August 2011, which are reproduced below.
With increase of urbanization, development, growth and increasing population pressure, there is growing pressure on land including the land around centrally protected monuments. As this often affects the monument/site adversely it is important that such growth around the centrally protected monuments is properly regulated, balancing the needs of individuals and growth and development on the one hand and the requirements of preservation and protection of these monuments on the other.
"4A (1) The Central Government shall, on the recommendation of the Authority, prescribe categories in respect of ancient monuments or archaeological sites and remains declared as of national importance under Section 3 and 4, and while prescribing such categories it shall have regard to the historic, archaeological and architectural value and such other factors as may be relevant for the purpose of such categorisation.
(2) The Central Government shall, on the recommendation of the Authority, classify all the ancient monuments or archaeological sites and remains declared as of national importance under section 3 and 4, in accordance with the categories prescribed under subsection (1) and thereafter make the same available to the public and exhibit the same on its website and also in such other manner as may deem fit."
Para 20I of the Act ibid relating to the Functions and powers of National Monument Authority inter alia provides that:-
"(1) The Authority shall exercise or discharge the following powers or functions, namely:-
National Monuments Authority has processed categorisation of 915 centrally protected monuments of Bhopal, Chandigarh, Delhi, Kolkata and Vadodara circle after obtaining information from concerned circles of ASI and a series of meetings and deliberations and the same are under consideration for issue of notification.