Delhi will apply for “UNESCO Imperial Capital Cities” status, the government said on Wednesday, alleging that the city’s entry for Unesco World Heritage City was withdrawn by the Centre due to “political agenda”.
Atishi Marlena, adviser to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, said Delhi’s entry for heritage city status was withdrawn to favour Ahmedabad, which was last month declared the first UNESCO World Heritage City in India.
“Delhi will apply to get the prestigious tag of UNESCO Imperial Capital Cities. Delhi has 218 heritage sites and the city has an important role in the history and heritage of the country.
“Sisodia will also write to Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma in this connection,” Marlena said.
The central government in 2015 had pulled out Delhi’s entry for the UNESCO World Heritage City status, saying that if Delhi was given the prestigious tag, it would put “restrictions” on several infrastructure works in the national capital.
Marlena said Delhi’s dossier for the heritage city status was prepared in 2008 by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and in 2014 it was submitted in the Unesco during the AAP government’s 49-day tenure.
“But the BJP-led central government pulled out Delhi’s entry in 2015 and submitted Ahmedabad’s nomination for the prestigious tag. Delhi’s nomination was pulled out by the Centre because of their political agenda,” Marlena told reporters.
She added, “We have no problem with Ahmedabad being given the tag of UNESCO World Heritage City but withdrawing Delhi’s nomination due to political agenda is not fair.”
On the central government’s clarification for withdrawing Delhi’s nomination, Marlena said norms were already there restricting construction-related works in Lutyens’ Delhi and in Shahjahanabad area (Old Delhi).