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World Heritage City tag: AMC prepares for expert team visit

AMC asks hawkers at 26 heritage sites in walled city to withdraw for four days

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
September 27, 2016 12:52:54 am

LEAVING NO stone unturned to be in the list of UNESCO world heritage cities, a day prior to the expert team’s visit, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has “requested” hawkers at 26 heritage sites within the walled area to “voluntarily” withdraw for at least four days till the team leaves the city.

The expert team from the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), including senior officials from Archaeological Survey Of India (ASI), will be on a four-day visit to Ahmedabad. The ICOMOS, recognised in the World Heritage Convention as one of the professional advisers to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, will submit its report to UNESCO.

A team from the ICOMOS — on a mission for verification of the nomination dossier submitted for the UNESCO ‘World Heritage City’ tag — will visit the walled city areas, including pol (housing cluster) , heritage properties and monuments within the walled area.

“On AMC’s request all these hawkers have assured that they would vacate these sites for four days and help the AMC in keeping the area clean. They have also assured full support to the UNESCO’s team visiting these sites,” said city mayor Gautam Shah.

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Also, another attempt by the AMC towards the world heritage city tag is creating awareness through creative means, including folk plays (bhavai).

Based on the theme of creating awareness towards heritage and culture in the pol areas that has witnessed an exodus towards western parts of the city, one bhavai will be performed on September 27 evening in a pol of Dariyapur.

Another performance is scheduled on September 29 at Desai ni pol in Khadia, where the ICOMOS expert team will also be present.

“The trend of people moving out from their ancestral houses in pols towards outer city limits is very dangerous for the city’s heritage and identity. Also, those staying on the outer limits are not aware about the lives and architecture of the walled city areas. So, the play is aimed at creating awareness and encourage people to value and preserve it,” said Manvita Baradi, from Theatre and Media Centre roped in by the AMC to perform 20 shows across the city.

Initially, the AMC had suggested to restrict the performances in the walled areas only, but on the insistence of the theatre group, it has agreed to include outer areas too. The decision on granting world heritage city tag to Ahmedabad will be taken in July 21 during the World Heritage Convention.

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