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Majuli fails to get nomination for World Heritage Site status

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, March 2 - The Majuli river island in Assam has yet again missed the bus, with the Centre opting for two nominations � both from Madhya Pradesh � to the World Heritage Centre (WHC) this year.

The Government of India has submitted two nomination dossiers, namely �Dholavira: A Harappan City� and �Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate�, for inclusion in the World Heritage list for the year 2020, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel said in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Government of Madhya Pradesh had submitted the proposal of �Group of Monuments at Mandu� in the year 2019. That dossier was also forwarded to the WHC for �completeness check�. Inputs received from the WHC have been conveyed to the state government for further incorporation.

A consultation workshop was organised by the Wild Life Institute of India and the Government of Madhya Pradesh to �inventorise and prioritise� the potential World Heritage Sites of the state. The workshop has proposed Bhedaghat (Narmada Valley) as one of the recommended potential sites subject to criteria set by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

In 2011, the Government of India had proposed to nominate the name of Majuli river island for inclusion in the �cultural landscape� category of the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Conservation architect GSV Suryanarayana Murthy was selected by the Archaeological Survey of India as the man to prepare the nomination dossier.

The Majuli dossier was submitted to the UNESCO in February 2012. Majuli was shortlisted in the World Heritage Site �tentative list� at the World Heritage Committee session at Suzhou in China. A comprehensive nomination dossier was also submitted in 2006, followed by additional information in 2008.

In 2017, the Culture Ministry decided to send the proposal for Majuli�s inclusion in the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had met the then Culture Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma in this regard and expressed his government�s determination to have the Majuli river island included in the World Heritage Site list.

However, Dr Sharma told the Parliament later that there was no concept of declaring any island as a Heritage Site. In reply to a Lok Sabha question, the Union minister said that there was no concept of declaring any island as a Heritage Site under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

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