New Delhi: Latest news on the application to UNESCO for World Heritage Status

By AG Krishna Menon, Convenor, INTACH Delhi Chapter

From Delhi, I can report progress on two fronts. First, the Detailed Dossier for nominating the Imperial Cities of Delhi, viz the Mughal City of Shahjahanabad (built between 1639-49) and the British colonial city of New Delhi designed by Edwin Lutyens (1911-31), was submitted to UNESCO in January, 2014. It is being studied by UNESCO and their experts will be coming to Delhi in October, 2014 for an on-the-spot evaluation. The final decision on the nomination will be made by UNESCO in June, 2015.

Second, the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan for Rashtrapati Bhawan estate, designed by Lutyens, has been approved by the government and proposals contained in it to “recover” the original intent and design of the architect are being implemented. Various conservation projects are in progress. In the next phase, the study of the main Rashtrapati Bhawan building will be undertaken and it will include the preparation of a detailed conservation report of the building.

In the meantime, the Central Public Works Department has asked INTACH Delhi Chapter to undertake the conservation of the stonework of the north Block, designed by Herbert Baker.

Discussions have also been initiated with the New Delhi Municipal Committee to develop an Interpretation Centre for New Delhi, which will include an exhibition on the design and construction of Imperial New Delhi.