The State Party submitted a report to the World Heritage Centre on 27 January 2007 on the progress made on the implementation of the decision on Hampi taken by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).
a) Finalisation, official adoption and implementation of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP):
The report states that the IMP is in the final stages of completion. In order to ensure adequate implementation, it is being harmonised with the Master Plan that the Directorate of Town Planning, Government of Karnataka is now finalising. A sub-committee has been formed to address the immediate needs of the local population while the Master Plan is finalised.
b) Provision of adequate staffing and funding to the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority:
The State Party report also notes that while the technical staff of the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority (HWHAMA) presently only consists of a Conservation Architect, an Archaeologist and a Surveyor, the Government of Karnataka is seeking funds to provide additional staff, for activities identified on an annual basis.
c) Rehabilitation of the abandoned commercial complex-and-interpretation centre construction site and restoration of its former land-use:
The State Party report notes that the adjacent gravel terrain will be temporarily used to park heavy vehicles until a comprehensive eco-friendly plan for visitor circulation is completed and an alternate parking area behind the Public Works Department guest house and interpretation centre at Mayur Bhuvaneshwari complex is created. It also proposes that the remaining building platform be used for cultural events.
d) Establishment and official adoption of urban building regulations, as well as a heritage-based Master Plan and e) exertion of strict control over illegal construction in the core zone:
A Task Force has been formed to monitor unauthorised construction. The Task Force aims to ensure that violators are immediately fined and further illegal activity is stopped. Furthermore, a photographic database for Hampi Village has been completed and an accurate land survey on Virupapuragudda Island has been carried out by the revenue department, so as to limit encroachment. The partial demolition of the illegal commercial establishments in Hampi has been undertaken and a plan launched to step up security at the site. The final Master Plan will be finalized upon completion of necessary key base studies.
f) Official adoption of traffic regulations to ban heavy duty vehicular traffic from the World Heritage area and to submit these regulations to the World Heritage Centre:
The State Party report also states that the public has been notified of draft traffic regulations to limit heavy duty vehicular movement and that comments from the public are now awaited.
g) Reconsideration and adaptation of the design and dimensions of the Anegundi Bridge:
The Government of Karnataka has formulated a proposal based on the guidelines laid down by HWHAMA, aimed at respecting the visual integrity of the property, which include reducing the width of the carriage way of the bridge, ensuring that materials blend in with the environs, and maintaining the existing permanent barricade.
h) Addressing the statement of significance as an amendment to the finalised IMP by 1 February 2008:
The State Party notes that amendments to the statement of significance are being considered, and that to support this work, the cultural resources under the protection of the Department of Archaeology, Government of Karnataka, located within the Hampi World Heritage area, have been mapped and archival material related to the site is being compiled.
The State Party report also includes relevant information on complementary conservation, planning and management activities at the site, e.g. material conservation works, development of activities and materials for tourists, GIS mapping, architectural mapping of Virupaksha Bazaar, preparation of conservation reports for 56 monuments, strengthening of stakeholder consultation process, and improvements in site management and interpretation.
As requested by the World Heritage Committee, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission took place in January 2007.
The mission report examines the requests made by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006) and information provided from the State Party. The conclusion stresses the positive progress made by the State Party in addressing the threats to the site, and it points out that the process for adequate management of this complex site is well underway and that a dynamic process has started. Substantial progress has been achieved in some respects, while in others, substantial progress can be expected to materialise in the next few months. In view of the great importance of Hampi as a model case for a complex heritage site and its management, it may also be counterproductive to rush certain activities at this stage. Instead, high priority should be given to implementing the most important components of the management system that has been defined in great detail in the IMP.
The most important of the mission’s recommendations are:
(i) Acceleration of finalisation of the Integrated Management Plan and harmonisation of the Integrated Management Plan and the Master Plan;
(ii) Strengthen support and authority of the HWHAMA to ensure effective management of the site and enforcement of control of illegal construction;
(iii) Removal of all built elements remaining from the abandoned commercial/ interpretation centre, restoring its former land use, while permitting temporary parking until completion of the proposed visitors centre at Kamlapuram;
(iv) Acceleration of establishment and official adoption of urban building regulations and land use regulations, including completion of missing components within the Master Plan, with a general vision for the site, a tourism strategy, a transport and infrastructure strategy, a socio-economic survey of the core villages, and an environmental study;
(v) Acceleration of development of a fully coherent traffic management scheme linked to provisions of the IMP implementation and created on the basis of appropriately documented quantitative data, as part of a tourism and transport study;
(vi) Acceleration of development and adoption of an effective tourism strategy;
(vii) Preparation of a long-term solution for the Anegundi Bridge;
(viii) Formulate a statement of significance as an amendment to the finalised IMP;
(ix) Proposal for a boundary revision of the World Heritage property on the basis of the finalised IMP and Master Plan, for submission to the World Heritage Committee.
ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre invite the State Party to implement these recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission.
Within the framework of the Retrospective Inventory project aimed at defining the boundaries of World Heritage sites, the World Heritage Centre has asked the State Party of India for the following information: confirmation of the limits of the site of Hampi, provision of a revised topographic or cadastral map indicating the complete boundary of the site and its buffer zone, and the area in hectares of the site and its buffer zone. This information has not yet been provided.