Decision : 27 COM 7B.105
Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri (India)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Expresses grave concern concerning the report on the large-scale tourism development plan in the immediate vicinity of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort World Heritage properties, which may irreversibly and negatively impact upon the World Heritage value of the two properties, as well as the heritage values of the related properties in the Agra and Yamuna River areas;
2. Takes note of the information from the State Party concerning the measures taken to halt the landfill work, pending the decision of the Supreme Court which is examining this development project;
3. Regrets that the World Heritage Committee was not informed of the intention to undertake a major development activity, the "Taj Heritage Corridor Project", which may negatively affect the World Heritage value of the property. The Committee recalls its invitation to submit such proposals before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, as stipulated in paragraph 56 of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (July 2002);
4. Requests the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to undertake a Joint Reactive Monitoring Mission to hold consultations with the State Party concerning this development project with a view to elaborate corrective measures for enhanced conservation, management and development of the World Heritage properties of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort;
5. Requests the State Party to reconsider the on-going implementation of the project based upon a full analysis and assessment of the impact such major development plan would cause upon the World Heritage properties of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, while simultaneously assessing the damage already caused by the landfill in the Yamuna River between the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort;
6. Requests the State Party to consider establishing a co-ordinated and effective management authority for the World Heritage properties in the Agra area, which would include the three World Heritage properties of Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, and Fatehpur Sikri.
7. Requests the State Party to submit a report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 on the state of conservation of the World Heritage properties, Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the properties at its 28th session in 2004. The report should include, if possible, the results of the environmental impact assessment study being undertaken by the Central Power Water Research Centre, as well as the final decision of the Supreme Court concerning the implementation of the development plan, the "Taj Heritage Corridor Project".