India GOES blank at this year’s nominations for the NESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Reason: New Delhi failed to forward nomination dossiers for the 2009 awards — despite huge success in the past five years.
On UNESCO’s tentative list are the following Indian sites — the Harappan site of Dhaula Vira, Varanasi’s Sarnath temple and the Mandu group of mountains besides the Matheran Light Railways.
Though the deadline for the 2009 nominations expired on January 31, no nomination for any of the above sites was forwarded to UNESCO’s World Heritage Center (WHC).
Nearly seven months after the lapse of the deadline, Anshu Vaish, director general of the Archaeological Survey of India — the nodal body for the task — said she may able to “pose some cases to the UNESCO body”.
But officials are doubtful. “Selections for 2009... are almost complete now,” said an official.
Submissions for the 2010 nominations have to be made by January 31, 2009. They will be screened by the WHC next June.
Against a global average of one UNESCO nomination in 10 years, India has attained huge success in recent years.
Three Railways sites were put on the list in Lalu Prasad’s tenure as minister alone.
For 2009, Indian Railways wanted to pitch for the Matheran Rail network. It is understood the Culture ministry rejected the proposal.