12th Century Jaisalmer Fort might lose UNESCO World Heritage tag

Last Updated : 18 April 2017, 12:39 IST

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Twelfth century Jaisalmer Fort, the only living fort in the world and a Unesco world heritage site monument is in a dilapidated state. The fort is losing its glory mainly due to the leakage of water and might also lose UNESCO World Heritage tag.

Around 3,000 inhabitants, who live inside 853 year old  fort, fear that the seepage of sewerage water might turn out to be a disaster resulting in damage to lives and properties. The sewerage line which is affecting maximum houses in the fort due to which the walls of the fort are becoming hollow has become a worry for its residents. Subhash Paliwal, a 53 year old resident said, "We are facing the seepage problem from last so many issues. The drainage system is not proper here. New sewerage line was laid  but water is leakage is still taking place. There is continuous leakage in many houses due to which walls of the fort now quite hollow."

The Earlier Collapse:

What has increased the worry of residents is the  incident that took place in August 2016 where a huge portion of the wall of the fort caved in. Three residential structures on the ramparts of the fort also suffered damage in the wall collapse. The reason was said to be the water leakage post rainy season making the foundation of the fort loose.  The fort is being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) but from last one month no work has been taken place. "They should restore the work as soon as possible and also make other part of the fort strong", Paliwal added.

After the collapse took place,  International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) visited the site and sent their report to UNESCO.

A special committee of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) led by ASI superintendent P S Raman in his investigation has mentioned that wall collapsed due to weakening of structure due to seepage in the hill. Jaisalmer Fort may soon slip in the danger list and apprehensions are made that UNESCO might disown it. Shikha Jain, director, DRONAH and coordinator of ICOMOS India said, "After the wall collapse incident UNESCO is monitoring it closely. We have sent two reports and this this world heritage site may soon slip into the danger list."

Tourists Disappointed:

Even the tourists who revisit the fort after reading 'Sonar Quilla', a 1971 mystery novel by Bengali writer and filmmaker Satyajit Ray, face an utter disappointed after seeing the majestic fort in a bad shape. Suzi Nichole, 43 year old tourist from Sweden shared with DH, "I am a filmmaker and write poetry, before coming here i googled about the fort and found excerpts of famous book 'Sonar Quilla' in English. But when reached here i could see the decline of this fort. The lanes smell badly and the colour of the stone that should be 'Golden' has become dull."

Published 18 April 2017, 08:46 IST

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