Delhi seeks heritage tag, Centre told

 The Delhi government has urged the central government to reconsider its decision of opting out of the race for getting a Heritage City tag from Unesco.

In a letter to Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma, Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra requested that a fresh dossier on Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities be sent for the next Unesco meet in Istanbul in July.

Mishra pointed out that just before the 39th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Bonn in June 2015 “the nomination of Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities was either withdrawn by the Government of India or deferred”.

“We need to pursue this matter vigourously so that Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities become a World Heritage City in the near future,” he said in his letter written on Wednesday.

The Delhi Tourism Minister said: “I am writing to you now to request that the dossier of Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities may be sent for the next nomination cycle at the 40th Session of the World Heritage Committee, scheduled to be held in Istanbul in July 2016.

Referring to the aborted attempt to get the coveted tag, Mishra said: “It may be relevant to highlight that the Government of NCT of Delhi had spent a considerable amount of time and resources on the nomination process and proceeded with the nomination only after the Ministry of Urban Development, GoI, gave its consent.”

After the withdrawal of nomination from the process for World Heritage City tag, Mishra said there has been no formal communication to the GNCT of Delhi in this regard.
The Chief Secretary, GNCT, earlier sent a note to the Culture Ministry in August 2015 but so far no reply has been received, said Mishra.

Officials said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is keen on the city getting the heritage tag.
Soon after the central government pulled out of the nomination race last year, the Chief Minister expressed “surprise” over the Modi government’s move.

After the Chief Minister’s briefing, letters were written by the Chief Secretary to External Affairs and Culture ministers to know the way forward.

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