Monday, September 23, 2013

Ranki Vav step closer to getting Unesco tag

AHMEDABAD: Patan town, considered the parent of Ahmedabad city, is on the verge of vying for the coveted Unesco's World Heritage Site status for Ranki Vav, an 11th century stepwell.

A team of the National Monument Authority (NMA) and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was in Gujarat to hold a series of meetings and workshops between Thursday and Saturday. The members of the group decided to invite the representatives of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in the third week of October for the final inspection of the stepwell.

The NMA-ASI team also resolved to list adjoining monuments and a lake near the stepwell for the Unesco nomination. If the ICOMOS team approves Ranki Vav as a World Heritage Site, the stepwell will step into the ranks of the monuments of Champaner and Pavagadh which have acquired the privileged status.

This is crucial step for the Gujarat-ASI which has been taking care of the monument ever since the monument got listed in Unesco's tentative list in 1998. It was in June this year that ICOMOS had informed the Indian government that it wished to inspect the site any time this year. At one of the workshops held in the Vadodara office of the ASI , the team decided to ready the site for inspection. There were a few doubts raised by the NMA regarding the vibration from the nearby railway track.

"The representatives of the Western Railway, who were present in the meeting, had assured that they would immediately order all trains that pass near the monument to slow down," said a senior ASI official. "The NMA was also told that many World Heritage Sites have rail lines that have not affected the structures."

The NMA will be handed over a conservation plan for the Ranki Vav and a 100 metre buffer zone around the monument.

"The other contender is the Qutb Shahi Monument of Hyderabad," said the ASI official.

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