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Centre working on Majuli dossier

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, March 4 � The Centre has undertaken the process of rewriting the entire nomination dossier on Majuli Island for inscription as a Cultural Landscape, according to the recommendation of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Minister of State for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs, V Narayansamy said.

In a Lok Sabha reply to a question by Paban Singh Ghatowar, the Minister confirmed that UNESCO is likely to accord Cultural Landscape Site status to Majuli and as per the recommendation of the Heritage Centre, the process of rewriting the nomination dossier is under way.

Under Majuli Development Project, the State Government has sanctioned a cultural centre for propagation of and training in Sattriya and other folk dances and has also given funds for the development of an ethnic village for conservation and promotion of the Island�s tribal culture. Regular workshops and training programmes are organised under the aegis of the cultural centre, the Minister said.

Narayansamy further confirmed that Government of Assam has sent a revised proposal for promotion and preservation of 33 Sattras. The project cost amounts to

Rs 25.76 crore. The proposal has been sent directly to the Planning Commission and is under its consideration, the Minister added.

As reported by this newspaper on January 11, Director and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, Armoogum Parsuramen had said that of the 80 odd representations received from India, Majuli Island is being selected this year.

Heritage sites are inscribed in the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO. There are 22 cultural sites of India in the list. None of them have been put in the �List of World Heritage in danger� by the WHC, official sources said.

Of the 27 cases forwarded for inscription, the case of Majuli Island and Namdapha National Park of Arunachal Pradesh is pending.

India had missed the chance on earlier two occasions, when the WHC rejected the bid on technical ground. UNESCO has asked India to compile a list of monasteries in Majuli.

The then Union Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni had told Parliament that World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, while dismissing the inscription of the River Island on the 2008 World Heritage list, recommended that a complete list of the 31 surviving Sattras, or Vaishnavite monasteries, on the island be made.

A complete list of the 31 surviving Sattras on the island as a preliminary to consider which Sattras might have the potential to demonstrate outstanding universal value and allowing an International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) evaluation mission to visit the property are some of the recommendations of the World Heritage Council, Soni had said.

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