Chandigarh, Dec 31: Chandigarh today boasts of all those features which are required to get a world heritage status. The next step is the submission of a dossier to the UNESCO for its nomination.
Amidst hectic activities which are underway, the city recently hosted a high powered team from UNESCO. The idea was to gain insight into the development and maintenance of the city"s original architecture in modern times. It was sheer coincidence for the UNESCO delegates, who were to attend a workshop of Historic Urban Landscapes in Chandigarh, to be treated to Le-Corbusier's pieces of architecture. Chandigarh is in the reckoning to be crowned a World Heritage City.
Ray Bondin, the President of International Comm. of Historic Sites said, “What Le-Corbusier designed exists here. The city is his very authentic creation and has been maintained very well. Because its very important authenticity and the integrity of the original design are conserved, the management of the city and its conservation – these are the other things we are concentrating in the process."
Headed by the Chairman of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the 18-member delegation went around Chandigarh to view the original work done by Le Corbusier. It was an exhilarating experience for those who just could not get enough of the master architect's genius showcased in the city.
Francesco Bandarin, the Director of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, said: “I have seen the impressive fabric that was generated in the city, the variety of the urban forms that he has created. There are many things eliminated from this place. It is really a happy place and most of all the credible levels, structure of your monuments. During my last visit, I felt that this place needed protection and conservation.
Kiran Joshi, Model Officer, Chandigarh World Heritage Project, said: “Once the property is nominated and even the World Heritage Society decides to inscribe it that is the beginning of your troubles. Because thereafter you are expected to manage the conservation of the property in a way not to improve the authenticity and integrity and the values for which it has been inscribed."
“So this particular workshop is very useful to us because management of heritage cities is a very complex phenomenon. Unlike the management of monuments which have still been practiced in India. Since this is the first city to be nominated on the world heritage list from India, therefore, they are here to help us understand better about the management of historic cities and to help us in their capacity in their direction," Joshi added.
In a move to get Chandigarh the status of World Heritage City, the Chandigarh administration has approved the Chandigarh Heritage Regulations', demarcating three zones in the city.
The latest move is to find appropriate solution in tune with internationally accepted ethics of conservation. If all goes well, Chandigarh can be expected to become the first 20th century Indian city becoming a heritage town.