In an embarrassment of sorts, the BJP government withdrew the candidature of Delhi for World Heritage City status from India.
More than a decade of planning following by detailed preparation in the last five years have gone waste as the Centre withdrew Delhi’s nomination for a World Heritage City tag given by the Unesco without giving any reason.
This move by the BJP government has shocked conservationists and heritage lovers as it came just a month before Unesco’s review of nominations from across the world.
The website of the Unesco World Heritage gives regular updates on nominations for its review session in Germany in June and it said Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities nomination was withdrawn by the state party — permanent delegation of India to Unesco — on May 21.
Now the country is out of the running at this year’s World Heritage Committee session as Delhi was its only entry. “Delhi was the only nomination submitted last year for the world heritage tag,” said an official.
“Kanchenjunga’s nomination was also planned in the natural section but its dossier could not be completed in time due to some boundary disputes. Kanchenjunga, Nalanda and Chandigarh were nominated this year in February and they will be reviewed only in June 2016.”
Another expert said, “If India re-nominates Delhi for the tag, the process of submitting the tentative and final dossiers all over again would take two to four years at least.”
Although the Centre did not explain the reason for withdrawing the nomination of Delhi as World Heritage City, the sources said the decision was taken several weeks ago but was made official only at the Unesco’s headquarters in Paris
“The nomination was withdrawn by the permanent delegation of India, which is under the Ministry of External Affairs,” said a source. “The decision was conveyed to Unesco prior to preparation of documents which listed all nominations that would have been reviewed next month.”
The remaining 38 nominations will be examined for world heritage inscription in Bonn, Germany between June 28 and July 8.