'Walled city of Jaipur has every right to get World Heritage status'
Jaipur : The walled city of Jaipur has a distinguished story to share with the visitors; its beautiful heritage sites and world-class museums along with its rich heritage and culture bespeak a unified tone to ensure its entry into the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, says Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) chief Maj. Gen. L.K. Gupta.
"Jaipur has all reasons to mark its presence among the World Heritage sites and even we are awaiting the good news of its declaration," Gupta told IANS.
In 2015, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) submitted a proposal to UNESCO demanding World Heritage City status for Jaipur city. Since then, the city has been in the tentative list while Ahmedabad became India's first World Heritage City.
Thereafter, ICOMOS, one among three advisory bodies to the World Heritage Committee which is constituted by UNESCO, communicated to the ASI about an inspection tour to the Walled City to study its potential for being a declared a World Heritage City.
A team visited the city in September 2017 and thereafter, there were hush hush whispers doing the rounds about its heritage status.
Since then, there has been no movement on the issue.
Gupta felt that attempts should be made to convert heritage buildings into economic assets.
"Economic benefits need to be derived from these properties as an alternative to paying for their maintenance and upkeep," he added.
On its part, INTACH is working earnestly for the protection of natural heritage, geo-heritage, waterbodies, stepwells, sacred groves, wall paintings as well as rock paintings.
"We are also engaged in mapping of natural heritage in the Thar Desert area. Since local communities understand their natural resources better, there is need to document and implement their techniques into modern planning, he said. Furthermore, the Thar Desert region needs to be preserved as a 'hot sp't' and not further greened for meteorological reasons.
(Archana Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)