State Affairs

SC raps ASI for not framing tourist guide policy

AGRA: The Supreme Court has issued a stern warning to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for its failure to frame a policy regarding entry of guides at protected monumentson August 26.

It asked the ASI’s senior ‘responsible for the policy’ to either submit it by the next date of hearing, i.e. September 9, or be present in the court on that date, reports The Times of India.

The court was hearing a contempt plea filed by an association of Agra guides.

Earlier this year, state-level guides had knocked the doors of Supreme Court for the second time filing a contempt plea against Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), department of tourism (Central government) and UP tourism department for not framing a policy concerning them as well as non-issue of licences to them.

This complaint was in response to the failure of the departments concerned to implement the order passed by SC while hearing the contempt plea filed in 2015.

Passing an order in the contempt plea filed by UP tourism guides in 2015, the SC in its order dated January 15, 2016, had directed the ASI to frame a new policy within six weeks and till that time allow guides who were granted licences earlier under the 2003 guidelines to continue to function as state-level guides.

After waiting for the requisite period, the association filed a second contempt plea.

Deepak Dan, president of state-approved guide association of Uttar Pradesh, said, “The court took a very stern view of the ASI’s repeated failure to frame a policy and asked the official responsible for framing the policy to be present in the court or submit it at the earliest.” He added that the contempt plea was filed against ASI’s director general.