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UNESCO not ready to release Hampi from Endangered List

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Bellary, Feb 22 (UNI) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Society (UNESCO) is not ready to free Hampi from the World Heritage Danger List as some concrete steps need to be taken for the development of the village, its New Delhi Director Minja Yang informed today.

Speaking to reporters at Hospet, she said there was a lot of development work left behind and the Hampi Development Authority (HAD) must expedite it. Before taking any decision on freeing Hampi from the endangered list, a team would be set up to monitor the developments.

Referring to the controversial hanging bridge, Ms Yang said the bridge had to be shifted keeping long term benefits in mind. It was a beautiful bridge being constructed at the wrong place. However, considering the local people's need for the bridge, UNESCO had temporarily agreed to allow its construction, provided heavy vehicles took the bypass road, she added.

She said in the master plan to be prepared soon for the development of the village, an alternate location would be identified for the bridge. Besides, no other cosntruction should be taken up on the banks of Tungabhadra river and along the bypass road she added.

Ms Yang expressed shock over illegal activities at Hampapura Gadda, a small island between Hampi and Anegondi. Drug peddling and supply of liquor was going on freely in some resorts and guesthouses at Virupapura Gadda, she said.

She wondered how constructions could come up in an area identified as forest reserve land. The biggest problem was now to stop these activities in the land. Unauthorised urbanisations undermine the beautiful landscape and ruin the fascinating monuments at the site, she lamented.

Ms Yang was part of the three-member UNESCO team which arrived on a two-day visit to Hampi on February 22 to discuss various issues, including the site management plan.

The team was headed by French nationalist and UNESCO Consultant Paul Traulloid. While Mr Traulloid would stay back in Hampi till February 25, Ms Yang and other member of the team, Shubro Gupta, Site Management Consultant, would leave for Bangalore to hold discussions with the Government.

UNI XR RG TS2011

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