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SANCHI, INDIA, October 1, 2001: Growing encroachment around places of archaeological importance, including the world heritage sites of Sanchi and Khajuraho, and over-zealous tourists not only pose a threat to their safety but also hamper conservation work. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Superintending Archaeologist S B Ota told UNI that most of these encroachments by influential people have been caught in legal wrangles. Also, tourists, in their zeal, apply vermillion and other ritual pastes to protected statues, affecting their conservation. As a result, monuments in Gwalior, Mandu, Kundalpur and Chanderi are facing neglect, he added. A private hotel has been constructed within the prohibitory zone in Khajuraho in violation of ASI norms. Small shops and other business establishments, as well as new road construction, also pose a serious threat to the the safety of deteriorating heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh.