GUWAHATI, July 14 - The State Government is soon going to arrive at a decision as to how to proceed in the matter of preparing the Majuli Nomination Dossier for the UNESCO World Heritage Site status for the famous river island. This has been stated by the Upper Assam Commissioner Anurag Goel, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Majuli Cultural Landscape Management Authority (MCLMA).
The MCLMA had recommended in its May 19, 2015 executive group meeting appointment of UNESCO as the consultant for preparing the dossier. The matter was reviewed by the Chief Secretary of the State on July 13, 2015, and instructions on the way ahead to prepare the document are expected from the State Government shortly, Goel said.
Meanwhile, the MCLMA has engaged the Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS) for preparing the Comprehensive Development and Management Plan of the Majuli Cultural Landscape Region. This document is a part of the nomination dossier of the river island. WAPCOS has been working on it for the past about two years. It is expected that the draft Comprehensive Development and Management Plan would be submitted by the WAPCOS to the MCLMA within a month or so. The final Comprehensive Development and Management Plan would take some more time for preparation, Goel said.
Chairman of the voluntary organisation Majuli Island Protection and Development Council (MIPADC) Dr Arun Sarma, who is also an ex-MP, told this newspaper that the UNESCO needs the details about the Sattra institutions, the buffer zone (comprising areas like Dhakuakhana, parts of Dhemaji and Sivasagar districts, Jorhat and parts of Sonitpur district) and the Comprehensive Development and Management Plan of the Majuli Cultural Landscape Region, for according the recognition of the World Heritage Site status to the river island.
Dr Sarma said, for securing the World Heritage Site status, the river island will have to stick to its original cultural tradition, which maintains a heritage value for the humanity. It will also have to chalk out plans for bringing in alternative economic activities, commensurate with its heritage, which will ensure economic development of the people of the island too. This is where lies the significance of the Comprehensive Development and Management Plan of the Majuli Cultural Landscape Region, said Dr Sarma.
The MIPADC initiated a movement for wresting the UNESCO World Heritage Site status to Majuli for the first time in 1998. It submitted a nomination on its own to the UNESCO, through the Governments of Assam and India, the same year.
The UNESCO, after examining this dossier, had declared Majuli�s case as a fit one for the purpose and granted US $ 20,000 for preparation of a detailed nomination dossier. Since then Majuli�s attempt has been on for wresting the World Heritage Site status.