Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has urged the Centre to name Hyderabad as India’s official entry for inclusion in UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
In a letter to Union Minister of State for Culture, Mahesh Sharma, Rao noted that every year, UNESCO allows each nation to submit one nomination for inclusion of a cultural site into the world heritage list.
“It is pertinent to note that of the 32 world heritage sites in India, Telangana does not have a single UNESCO world heritage site,” he noted.
Telangana came into being on June 2 this year after being carved out of the undivided Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad would remain joint capital of residuary Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for a period not exceeding ten years, though after that it would be a part of Telangana, according to AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
The Chief Minister said the nomination dossier for the Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad – Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs and Charminar – was officially submitted by the Centre to UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris as India’s official entry in January 2012.
In October 2012, an ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) mission was sent to Hyderabad to assess the condition of the property and its management, completing its review process of desk and site review, he said.
However, since the 2012 UNESCO World Heritage Session had deferred Rajasthan’s bid for the inclusion of Hill Forts of that state, the Indian government took a decision to resubmit it as its official entry in the 2013 UNESCO session, keeping Hyderabad’s case on hold.
“Since there are certain reports that the nomination dossier for Delhi as ‘imperial city’ may be withdrawn by India on account of objections raised by the Ministry of Urban Development, instead of India’s chance at a World Heritage Site being missed altogether at the upcoming 2015 session of the World Heritage Committee, India could name Hyderabad as its official entry,” Rao said in the letter.
This would only be fair as Hyderabad is the only site ready to be taken to World Heritage Committee and the ICOMOS evaluation has already taken place and the nomination dossier has already been reviewed by UNESCO.
“This would not only help India avoid the scenario of losing its opportunity to gain a world heritage site in 2015, but would also be fair since the Hyderabad nomination dossier was submitted many years ago before New Delhi,” the Chief Minister said.
He said it would also be apt to try for global recognition, as Hyderabad was recently ranked as the second best among the world’s ‘Must-See’ destinations by the reputed travel journal ‘National Geographic Traveler’.
“It would also give Telangana the glory of having its first UNESCO world heritage site,” Rao added, requesting the Centre to consider the case for a world heritage site for Hyderabad.