It’s been nine months since the 535.7 hectares consisting of 2,696 properties in Ahmedabad’s Walled City area was nominated by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.
The tag came with enormous responsibility of putting in place a protection and conservation management plan. But increasingly, it is now being felt that unless there is citizen’s participation the implementation of these plans will turn out to be difficult.
In July last year, International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), Unesco’s think tank, recommended a detailed ‘to do’ list to the state government. The report mentioned many challenges facing the Walled City which included increasing development pressures like commercial development and traffic congestion, which were causing original inhabitants to move out of the area.
The ICOMOS report also said that increasingly, traditional pol houses were rented for commercial purposes or to newcomers who do not have the same bonds with the historic fabric. This, according to ICOMOS was causing changes to the community structures and the rapid deterioration of the historic houses, sometimes resulting in the wilful demolition of historic architectural or decorative elements.
Read more from source: Heritage city needs community support – Times of India