Lutyens' Delhi in race for UN heritage status | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Lutyens' Delhi in race for UN heritage status

delhi Updated: Jun 12, 2012 00:01 IST
Neelam Pandey

The final dossier containing the much-hyped proposal for nominating Delhi as a World Heritage City will have just two heritage areas - Shahjahanabad and Lutyens' Delhi (New Delhi) - as against the earlier identified four areas, it was decided at a high-level meeting on Monday.

Earlier it was decided to nominate four heritage areas: Shahjahanbad, Lutyens' Delhi, Nizamuddin and Mehrauli. There are 226 World Heritage Cities as per the UNESCO, however, not a single Indian city figures in the list.

At a meeting of the stake holders, called by Delhi chief secretary PK Tripathi, it was decided to propose Shahjahanbad and the city designed by Edward Lutyens - New Delhi, for nomination to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage City under the category of Inhabited Historic Towns.

A high-level monitoring committee has been formed for overseeing the application for nominating Delhi and for monitoring its management thus ensuring that there are no more delays in sending the final nomination dossier.

Ahmedabad already figures in UNESCO's 'tentative list' of World Heritage City.

Explaining the reason behind bringing down the heritage areas from four to two, AGK Menon from Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), said: "As we refined our arguments, we would find it difficult to convince UNESCO for Mehrauli and Nizamuddin areas.

"Both the areas have witnessed large-scale changes to its heritage fabric whereas Shahjahanabad and Lutyens Delhi (New Delhi) have easily provable values as imperial capitals. These are still recognised as the power centres. For instance, every year, the Prime Minister gives the Independence speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort," he added.

Delhi's name is missing out of the 'tentative list' updated as on May 22, 2012 by the UNESCO.

"This is possibly because the ASI has not forwarded the executive summary of our proposal as sought by the UNESCO," Menon said.

According to sources, the proposal will now be sent to the Delhi cabinet for an approval following which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) and INTACH and funds would be released.