Almost 93 per cent of centrally protected monuments have no security guards on their premises, according to a Parliamentary panel report which said budgetary constraints cannot not be an excuse for lack of protection around India's rich culture and heritage. The Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture in its 324th report -- Issues Relating to Untraceable Monuments and Protection of Monuments in India -- has said about 6.7 per cent of the total monuments have security guards.
"The committee notes with dismay that out of the total requirement of 7,000 personnel for protection of monuments, the government could provide only 2,578 security personnel at 248 locations due to budgetary constraints. "The committee observes that budgetary constraints should not be an excuse for not providing security guards to protect our rich cultural heritage. It is the bounden duty of the government of the day to protect our cultural heritage sites," the report said. The committee has recommended that the government provide a budget to appoint 7,000 personnel for protection of the monuments.
"In view of this worrying state of affairs, the committee is of the strong view that the budgetary allocation available with the ministry/ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) for safeguarding our centrally protected monuments needs a serious relook," it said. The committee has recommended that the ministry/ASI may conduct an urgent thorough assessment of the security requirements and budgetary allocation required for the same and a strong case might be made to the Ministry of Finance requesting allocation of additional funds for this purpose so as to "ensure a basic state of protection for all centrally protected monuments across the country to preserve them for generations to come." The committee also recommended involving the local panchayats and police in safeguarding the monuments.