Criticising the Centre for withdrawing the capital’s nomination from Unesco’s list of World Heritage Cities, the AAP government has asked it to resend the nomination to be considered for the next year.
Delhi chief secretary KK Sharma on August 24 wrote to the secretary of the culture ministry, a copy of which is with HT, saying, “Delhi government had proposed ‘Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities’ for nomination to Unesco’s list of World Heritage Cities. However, according to the Unesco website, the Government of India withdrew the nomination just before the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee in Bonn, Germany, in 2015. There was no communication to the Delhi government in this regard”.
Shahjahanabad for its Mughal-era heritage and New Delhi’s Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone (LBZ) designed as part of the new imperial capital by Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker after the 1911 Delhi Durbar are the two areas listed in the dossier.
According to a senior Delhi government official, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and tourism minister Kapil Mishra had asked the chief secretary to send a letter to the Centre.
A number of meetings were held before sending the letter on August 24. “Delhi government has spent a considerable amount of time and resources on the nomination process and proceeded with it only after the urban development ministry gave its consent, vide letter dated 19 February 2015,” states the letter.
The AAP government is keen on the city getting the heritage tag to boost tourism. According to a senior government official, at a recent meeting Kejriwal expressed ‘surprise’ over the Centre’s move.
The letter further states that the dossier for Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities should be sent for the next nomination cycle scheduled to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in July 2016.
“Delhi government strongly feels that the nomination should be sent again,” states the letter.