Gujarat to celebrate Ahmedabad’s world heritage city tag on grand scale ahead of polls

The fortnight-long celebrations will also coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to his home state to inaugurate the Sardar Sarovar dam

india Updated: Jul 21, 2017 11:33 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta
Moushumi Das Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
World heritage city,Ahmedabad,UNESCO
Rath yatra of Lord Jagannath in Ahmedabad. (HT File Photo )

The BJP-led Gujarat government is going all out to celebrate the world heritage city status accorded to Ahmedabad by UNESCO earlier this month with an eye on assembly elections later this year.

The fortnight-long celebrations will start from August 1, aiming to give a boost to the city’s image through people’s participation.

As part of the gala event, the state government in association with central ministries has chalked out elaborate programmes for a two-week-long festival, which includes heritage walk, cultural events, lectures and seminars to showcase the over 600-year-old city founded by emperor Ahmed Shah.

During the fortnight, all flights bound for the state will serve a variety of Gujarati cuisines to passengers.

“The idea is to involve people from all walks of life in the celebrations that will be organised across the city. It is a big boost for the city to be given the world heritage status,” said a state government official.

The elaborate programmes also aimed at highlighting the heritage-tag for the Ahmedabad as a major success story of the BJP government in the state.

The celebrations will coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to his home state on August 12 to inaugurate the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada. Chief ministers of 12 states ruled by BJP and its allies are expected to attend the event.

Ahmedabad is the first Indian city to get the coveted heritage status. Earlier Delhi and Mumbai had also tried to get the tag but failed to make the cut. Gujarat had sent its proposal to UNESCO way back in 2010 when Modi was the CM of the state.

A detailed presentation on how the city plans to celebrate the “world heritage city” status was made by Ahmedabad municipal commissioner at then housing and urban affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu’s residence on Monday.

This was the last assignment of Naidu before he demitted office after being named the NDA’s vice president candidate.

Also present in the meeting were Union textiles minister Smriti Irani and civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju. Secretaries of six central ministries, including culture, housing and urban affairs, civil aviation were also in attendance.

Besides thematic cultural programmes at historical monuments such as the Bhadra fort, a festival of Gujarati classical films, heritage sadhbhavna yatra, cultural programme at the river front, laser and fire cracker show have also been lined up. The fortnight-long event will also see the launch of a hop-on-hop-off heritage bus tour and special merchandize and souvenirs, depicting various facets of the heritage city.

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 11:33 IST