Monuments in AP to get facelift for Unesco tag

The Andhra Pradesh Government will soon constitute a committee to oversee removal of encroachments around historical sites such as the Charminar, Golconda and Qutub Shahi Tombs so that the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) can recognise them as world heritage sites.

Charminar

The committee will be headed by the chief secretary and representatives from the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, ASI, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority, Department of Tourism, and Horticulture Department.

The soon to be formed committee will be responsible for the removal of encroachments around Golconda Fort, Charminar, Qutub Shahi tombs and Badushahi Ashoorkhana and also work for beautification and upkeep of these monuments for Unesco’s World Heritage List-2013.

The government has already submitted a detailed maintenance plan to Unesco through ASI. “The dossier was sent well before the deadline of February 1,” Prof P Chenna Reddy, Director of State Archeology and Museums, said.

Last month, a three-member sub-committee, formed by ICOMOS and the Union Ministry of Culture visited these places here and suggested individual plans of conservation for each monument. The committee comprising Dr Amita Baig, Dr Sikha Jain and Dr Priyaleen Singh was of the opinion that to get a tag of a World Heritage Site these monuments need regular upkeep and a clear approach road so that tourists could visit without any hassles.

According to Chenna Reddy, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture has shown a keen interest in undertaking the beautification of the monuments, and its representatives visited them in October last. “We hope they will have another look at them in next few weeks to take its initiative a step further. The trust had proposed an MoU with the Archaeology Department  to chalk out a programme for documentation, laying of gardens, conservation of monuments, civic amenities and involving local community under public-private partnership mode,” he added.

According to experts, Unesco’s rules for a World Heritage tag are very rigorous. Initially the proposed monument will be placed in a tentative list and later, the State concerned is required to submit a dossier and management plan. A country can submit two applications—one for natural site and the other one a cultural site.

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