Hyderabad’s World Heritage site hopes revived

UNESCO confirms that proposal for conferring such a title under its consideration

By Author  |  Published: 6th Aug 2018  12:05 amUpdated: 5th Aug 2018  11:51 pm
Telangana government is expediting works to improve infrastructure at Golconda Fort.

Hyderabad: The dreams of Hyderabad becoming a World Heritage site have been revived, with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) confirming that the proposal was under its consideration. The State government also expedited works for improving infrastructure and restoration of the heritage structures to meet the international standards, highlighting their archaeological and historical importance.

It has been nearly eight years since a proposal was submitted to UNESCO to consider iconic heritage structures like the Charminar, Golconda Fort and Qutb Shahi Tombs complex for the World Heritage tag. Soon after Telangana was formed, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao wrote to the Centre to consider Hyderabad as an official entry to compete for the UNESCO World Heritage site tag.

The nomination dossier for the Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad comprising Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs and Charminar, was officially submitted by the Central government to UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris as India’s official entry in January 2012. An ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) mission was sent to Hyderabad to assess the condition of these structures and its management, completing its review process of desk and site review.

ICOMOS evaluation

Thus, Hyderabad completed the ICOMOS evaluation and the nomination dossier was already reviewed by UNESCO. But the Central government withdrew the nomination, keeping Hyderabad on hold since 2013.

Recently, Yadadri Temple Town Development Authority CEO G Kishan Rao received a letter from UNESCO stating that the proposal to award World Heritage tag to Hyderabad was under consideration. Immediately thereafter, the officials renewed their efforts to get the World Heritage City tag for Hyderabad which has already been adjudged as best livable city in the country.

“With the help of some renowned archaeologists and UNESCO consultants, we have revived our efforts to get World Heritage site tag for Hyderabad. Instead of nominating select individual sites, we have been advised to nominate entire Hyderabad, which has more than 425 years of history,” senior officials in the Municipal Administration and Urban Development department told Telangana Today.

Removal of encroachments

Besides structures like Charminar, Qutb Shahi tombs, and Golconda Fort, the State government will also highlight more than 150 heritage sites of all sizes and shapes. An action plan is also being prepared to remove illegal encroachments of the heritage structures in a bid to restore the surroundings for preservation of the structures which were ignored by the successive governments in undivided Andhra Pradesh.

The authorities initiated the process and draft plans were being prepared, besides taking up restoration and preservation of all these heritage structures. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) is already working to restore the Qutb Shahi tombs for the Telangana government, while Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) took up repairs to the iconic Charminar.