Unesco seeks report on road near Hampi's heritage tank

Unesco seeks report on road near Hampi's heritage tank

Unesco seeks report on road near Hampi's heritage tank

The Unesco has sought a report regarding the work on widening of the road (NH-49) adjoining the Kamalapur tank in the taluk, which comes under the purview of the Hampi World Heritage Area. 

Unesco has sought the details based on media reports that the tank, belonging to the Vijayanagar period, could be damaged due to the road-widening work. Shigeru Aoyagi, director and Unesco Representative to India, has written a letter in this regard on September 8 to Avinash Menon Rajendran, commissioner of the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority (HWHAMA). 

Copies of the letter have been mailed to Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree, chief secretary Arvind Jadhav, director general of the Archaeological Survey of India Rakesh Tiwari, deputy superintendent of the ASI Hampi Circle Prakash Naikanda and Ballari deputy commissioner Ramaprasad Manohar. The letter says efforts were on behind the scenes to restart the work, even though directions had been issued in March this year to stop the road work. 

Aoyagi’s missive says that the world heritage committee of Unesco was committed to the conservation of world heritage centres. The committee should be informed beforehand about any development project undertaken in the heritage region and it would offer necessary help. The same did not happen in the issue of widening the road adjoining the Kamalapur tank, the Unesco official says in the letter. It was not right on the part of the government to take up the work without bring it to the notice of Unesco, the letter to the HWHAMA says.  

The letter wants a report on the work, ahead of a meeting in July 2017 of the world heritage committee. The Kamalapur tank, constructed in the 15th century, irrigates 1,500 acres of agriculture land. The work on widening National Highway-49, adjoining the tank, was initiated in January this year. The work was suspended, following reports in the media in this regard. 

Activists say work was resumed a few days ago by putting a layer of gravel on the road. They want a stop to any work that endangers the tank. 

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