V.70 The Bureau recalled that the inscription of this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1999 was prompted by the construction of two intrusive suspension bridges that dominate the extraordinary natural environment of the site. Noting that a large area of over 30 km2, including numerous archaeological ruins, fortifications, palatial complexes, and active religious centres of pilgrimage, are designated as World Heritage, the Bureau recalled that the Committee had requested the Indian authorities to elaborate, adopt and implement a comprehensive management plan in 1986. This request was again made at the time of the site’s inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
V.71 The Bureau was informed that consultations had taken place between national, state and local authorities, representatives and NGOs of the local communities of Anegundi, Hampi and Virapapura Gada Island since January 2001. These consultations had resulted in plans for the establishment of a special administrative body whose primary objective would be to co-ordinate the various development and cultural and natural heritage conservation activities within the protected areas of Hampi. The establishment of this “Hampi Development Authority” would assist in facilitating site management by bringing together the numerous local bodies with overlapping jurisdiction and varying functions. According to information received by the Centre, the Hampi Development Authority, to be chaired by the District Commissioner of Bellary, would (a) elaborate a comprehensive management plan together with UNESCO and other agencies concerned; (b) adopt and implement such a plan; and (c) ensure co-ordinated heritage conservation and sustainable development activities.
V.72 The Bureau was informed that the Centre, at the invitation of the concerned authorities, was organizing a mission led by an international rural development planner with experience in cultural heritage areas. The mission would take place in August 2001. The expert is expected to work closely with the authorities to prepare and complete the needs and impact analysis of the two bridges; feasibility studies for possible alternative locations of the bridges; and possible solutions for removing the threats facing the site. The result of these activities will serve in the elaboration of the comprehensive management plan. Finally, the Bureau was informed that a mission by Centre staff is planned in July 2001 to discuss with the concerned authorities, a draft action plan to implement the 4-point recommendations for corrective measures drafted by the Centre.
V.73 The Bureau expressed its appreciation for the positive actions taken by the State Party to ensure the conservation of the World Heritage values of the site, in particular, its plans to establish the “Hampi Development Authority” involving the various authorities and stakeholders representing the local communities. This action directly responds to the Committee’s request for the establishment of a special administrative body, empowered to ensure integrated development and conservation of the whole World Heritage area. The Bureau requested that the State Party and the Centre continue to co-operate closely to complete the needs assessment and impact assessment of the two bridges, and to ensure the elaboration, adoption and implementation of the integrated conservation and management plan.
V.74 Finally, recalling the Committee’s request at its twenty-fourth session, the Bureau requested the State Party, with the assistance of the Centre, to report on the progress made in:
(a) relocating the two intrusive bridges outside the World Heritage site;
(b) implementing the 4-point recommendations for corrective measures of the UNESCO-ICOMOS mission in February 2000;
(c) preparing a comprehensive management plan for the site;
for examination by the Committee at its twenty-fifth session.