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Kathmandu Valley

Nepal
Factors affecting the property in 2013*
  • Air transport infrastructure
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Uncontrolled urban development resulting in the loss of traditional urban fabric, in particular privately-owned houses;
  • Lack of coordinated management mechanism;
  • Construction of forest road, Project for tunnel road in Pashupati Monument Zone;
  • Project for the extension of the Kathmandu International Airport.
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2013

Total amount granted: USD 10 million (1979-2001) from the International Safeguarding Campaign; USD 45,000 (2005) and USD 20,000 (2011) from Netherlands Funds-in-Trust. 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2013
Requests approved: 15 (from 1979-2006)
Total amount approved : 342,679 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

On 1 February 2013, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report in response to Decision 36 COM 7B.66 and recommendations of the November 2011 reactive monitoring mission.

a)   The proposed Tunnel/Road Construction at Pashupati Monument Zone

The State Party confirms the cancellation of the Tilganga-Tamranganga tunnel and road construction, which would have bifurcated the Pashupati Monument Zone. It has established a committee with stakeholders from the Tribhuwan International airport, Pashupati Area Development Trust, Departments of Roads and of Archaeology, and the Nepal Army to consider alternative routes. A proposed alternative route along the eastern border of the Pasupati Monument Zone has also been abandoned; it is now proposed that the Mitrapark-Gothatar road and the road east of the airport should be developed as the new route with a new connecting bridge on the Bagmati river. No clear information was provided on the effective closure of the abandoned road and it is not certain that natural regeneration of the route will occur if the road retains an informal use for traffic. This requires further monitoring.

Furthermore the State Party reports that a budget for ecological restoration of the Pashupati Monument Zone has been allocated especially for the Mrigasthali deer park; measures to prevent soil erosion, renew and protect indigenous tree species and manage deer by fencing have been designed; it is considered that natural regeneration will restore the deforested area affected by road construction. A programme has been undertaken to raise public awareness of the proposals.

b)   Urban Transport Strategy, Improved Development Control and Coordination

The State Party reports that it has initiated discussions with the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority to develop an urban transport strategy and strengthen development control as requested.

It further states that a budget has been proposed for next year for developing regulations to ensure that Heritage Impact Assessments are attached to all development proposals, as well as  for the preparation of a Disaster Risk Management Plan. The Integrated Management Plan (IMP) will be reviewed. The State Party confirms that the Department of Archaeology is ensuring collaboration and coordination with other government departments, local authorities and stakeholders in work affecting the property. The Coordinative Working Committee considers such collaboration to be a priority.

c)   Conservation Standards and Funding

The report lists the documents used for guidance on conservation standards and confirms that internationally agreed standards are adhered to, except for projects where traditional techniques are required. Periodic training and educational programmes are being organised in monument zones to promote conservation skills. 

d)   Mitigation of impact of new development and reduction of military presence

The owner of the inappropriate new structure adjacent to the Pujari Math in the Bhaktapur Monument Zone has been instructed by the Department of Archaeology to make necessary modifications to the building to mitigate its impact; the owner has apparently agreed to carry these out. There is no mention of any reduction in military presence in the Pashupati Monument Zone of the property.

e)   Review of the Integrated Management Plan and implementation of the 2011 mission recommendations

A budget has been allocated by the Department of Archaeology to review the 2007 Integrated Management Plan, initial review meetings have been held and a questionnaire sent to all seven monument zones. The opportunity will be taken to consider the 2011 mission recommendations as the review progresses. It is proposed that the review process will be completed by July 2013.

f)   Submission of all major new projects with accompanying Heritage Impact Assessments

As the planning for the new road in the Pashupati Monument Zone continues, Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) will be prepared. An HIA for a proposed new crematorium is attached and the State Party confirms that it will send all major new development proposals to the World Heritage Committee. It states that the process of renovation and rebuilding at Bhaidegah Temple in the Patan Monument Zone is not progressing for the time being.

g)   Conservation and repair

The report provides statistics for permits issued by the Department of Archaeology for renovation and reconstruction of private residences in the property (51 in year 2011-12) and details of World Heritage educational and awareness raising events at two schools (200 individuals with 14 teachers) in Changu Narayan and Patan Monument Zones and training events for women and young people; further similar events are envisaged in the following years.

Lists of conservation projects in all seven monument zones are given. The reports make it clear that the responsible bodies are aware of conservation principles which are generally adhered to under the supervision of the Department of Archaeology

h)   Heritage Impact Assessment of Crematorium, Pashupati Monument Zone

 

An HIA is attached to the report, though belated, as construction began in 2011.The electric crematorium is on the southern edge of the property boundary close to the modern ring road, on land previously built on by unplanned concrete houses, now cleared. It should reduce environmental damage (the area is important for religious reasons for cremation and is already heavily used, but using the traditional wood pyre method). The building design conforms in height, façade finishes and materials to the concepts and guidelines within the Integrated Management Plan, though the HIA considers the scale of ornamentation may be too prominent. The 30m high chimney with external access ladder, however, will be a dominant feature with a visual impact upon the Outstanding Universal Value; it does not conform to the Building By-laws for the monument zone, which restricts buildings to 10,67 metres. It should be designed to be removable once technology allows and its impact mitigated by colour, texture etc.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2013

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the State Party’s confirmation of the abandonment of the Tilganga-Tamranganga new road/tunnel scheme and the work towards finding an alternative solution. Nonetheless, they consider the status of the now abandoned route is unclear and further assurance by the State Party that the abandoned road has been effectively closed to traffic and its route allowed to regenerate. They consider that proposals for re-routing the road should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies at the earliest opportunity, preferably initially at the conceptual stage, and before any commitments have been made.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies take note of the information provided by the State Party on progress with the updating the IMP, the Disaster Risk Management Plan and the HIA for the crematorium. They also take note of the list of conservation projects, though it is unclear over what period the projects have been achieved. The conservation requirements are on a large scale but the State Party is to be commended for the work undertaken so far.

 

They further note that the HIA for the crematorium in the Pashupati Monument Zone is the first to be produced and should be a model for future development. It was produced too late in the process to affect position, design and layout of the facility and this procedural omission must be rectified in the future. It is clear that the 30m chimney will have a severe visual impact upon the property and a detailed scheme of mitigation should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies.  

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2013
37 COM 7B.65
Kathmandu Valley (Nepal) (C 121)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B, 

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.66 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Welcomes the State Party’s progress in finding an alternative route for the new Tilganga-Tamranganga tunnel and road;

4.  Encourages the State Party to submit details of alternative routes for the road to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, at the earliest opportunity, preferably at the concept stage and before irreversible commitments are made;

5.  Notes the adoption of ecological measures to manage environmental damage in the Mrigasthali deer park and on the route of the abandoned road through the Pashupati Monument Zone;

6.  Also welcomes the progress with review and update of the 2007 Integrated Management Plan (IMP); the Disaster Risk Management Plan; and the formulation of regulations to ensure that Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) are produced for all significant developments within the property;

7.  Also notes the considerable conservation efforts evident in the list of recent projects undertaken, the awareness of and adherence to good conservation principles and the monitoring by the Department of Archaeology; 

8.  Regrets that the HIA of the new electric crematorium concurrently under construction in the Pashupati Monument Zone, was not undertaken on time to improve its design and position, especially with regard to the 30m high chimney which will have an adverse visual impact on the property;

9.  Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, a scheme of mitigation of the impact of the crematorium chimney, including its position, colour and fabric, potential for screening and assurances that its construction method would allow removal;

10.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies:

a)  Information concerning verification of the closure of the abandoned road,

b)  Information on progress on the review of the IMP and the development of a Disaster Risk Management Plan,

c)  HIAs of all significant development proposals in the property, including visitor and parking provisions mentioned in the Pashupati Master Plan, the extension to the airport and the route of the new road, and of any major conservation or reconstruction project, in particular the Bhaidegah temple, before approval for the schemes is granted, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;

11.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015 , an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015

Draft Decision  37 COM 7B.65

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B, 

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.66, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Welcomes the State Party’s progress in finding an alternative route for the new Tilganga-Tamranganga tunnel and road;

4.  Encourages the State Party to submit details of alternative routes for the road to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, at the earliest opportunity, preferably at the concept stage and before irreversible commitments are made;

5.  Notes the adoption of ecological measures to manage environmental damage in the Mrigasthali deer park and on the route of the abandoned road through the Pashupati Monument Zone;

6.  Also welcomes the progress with review and update of the 2007 Integrated Management Plan (IMP); the Disaster Risk Management Plan; and the formulation of regulations to ensure that Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) are produced for all significant developments within the property;

7.  Also notes the considerable conservation efforts evident in the list of recent projects undertaken, the awareness of and adherence to good conservation principles and the monitoring by the Department of Archaeology; 

8.  Regrets that the HIA of the new electric crematorium concurrently under construction in the Pashupati Monument Zone, was not undertaken on time to improve its design and position, especially with regard to the 30m high chimney which will have an adverse visual impact on the property;

9.  Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, a scheme of mitigation of the impact of the crematorium chimney, including its position, colour and fabric, potential for screening and assurances that its construction method would allow removal;

10.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies:

a)  Information concerning verification of the closure of the abandoned road,

b)  Information on progress on the review of the IMP and the development of a Disaster Risk Management Plan,

c)  HIAs of all significant development proposals in the property, including visitor and parking provisions mentioned in the Pashupati Master Plan, the extension to the airport and the route of the new road, and of any major conservation or reconstruction project, in particular the Bhaidegah temple, before approval for the schemes is granted, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

11.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.

Report year: 2013
Nepal
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2003-2007
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 37COM (2013)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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