1.         Hill Forts of Rajasthan (India) (C 247rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2013

Criteria  (ii)(iii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/247/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/247/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Threats identified at the time of inscription in 2013:

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/247/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 28 January 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/247/documents/. The report responds to the request of the World Heritage Committee, at the time of inscription, notably addressing the major conservation project at Jaisalmer, and the conservation work at Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh Forts, as well as the potential threats to Chittorgarh from industrial and mining activities raised in Decision 37 COM 8B.31:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The World Heritage Committee requested reassurance, at the time of inscription, that the major conservation project for infrastructure and conservation of individual buildings at Jaisalmer Fort would be delivered according to the agreed timescale, in the light of the extreme vulnerability of the hill on which the fort stands to water seepage, and the large number of buildings within the fort that needed attention.

The State Party only reports that work is ongoing, with no details on work undertaken since inscription or reassurances on the agreed timetable being maintained. Worryingly, the report also states that various unauthorised construction activities are rampant and out of control and could add to the already existing sources of water seepage.

At the time of inscription, it was noted that the Management Plan for the Jaisalmer Fort along with sub-plans including visitor management, risk preparedness, and livelihood generation for the local population, would be completed by end of 2013. It is therefore of concern to note from the State Party report that no concrete progress with these plans appears to have been made since inscription and that they are all still in preparation, notwithstanding the view expressed that Plan is seen as the way to control illegal development.

It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee request further details on the progress with the major Jaisalmer infrastructure and conservation project, and its timetable, in order to ensure that the authenticity and intuit of this component are not threatened. It is further suggested that the Committee request the submission of the completed Management Plan for Jaisalmer Fort by an agreed date.

The information provided by the State Party on mining in the setting of Chittorgarh is not clear. From information in the public domain, it is understood that in 2011, the Rajasthan High Court directed that no mining should take place within 10km of the Fort, in order to stop adverse impacts from vibrations, dust and traffic. However in May 2013, a month before inscription, the Rajasthan High Court, in response to a challenge by a mining company, gave a temporary relaxation for mining within 10km but without blasting. Such a relaxation, that was not known at the time of inscription and has not been formally notified until now, could cause adverse impacts on the Fort. Although it is stated that a technical study on impacts is being considered by the Supreme Court of India, this would appear to suggest that blasting as well as mining might be considered within the 10km zone. On 19 March 2015, the World Heritage Centre requested the State Party to provide clarification on this matter. At the time of preparing the working document, no information has been provided.

The information provided by the State Party on the consolidation measures undertaken and foreseen for the Kumbhalgarh Fort is not detailed enough. It is recommended that the Committee also request further information on this issue to the State Party and express its concern that the commitment given at the time of inscription to progress the conservation project at Jaisalmer has not led to any significant progress being made. Furthermore, the protection and management of the setting at Chittorgarh does not appear to be effective.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7B.65

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 8B.31, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Expresses its concern that notwithstanding the commitments made at the time of inscription, little progress appears to have been made with major project on infrastructure works at Jaisalmer Fort to prevent seepage of water into the Fort mound, or with conservation of buildings within the Fort;
  4. Notes with concern that:
    1. Illegal building within the Jaisalmer Fort is rampant and could adversely impact on authenticity and integrity of the component,
    2. The Management Plan for Jailsamer Fort that was said to be due for completion in 2013 at the time of inscription has not yet been completed;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, as soon as possible, and not later than 1 December 2015, an updated timetable for the Jaisalmer infrastructure project and to reiterate its commitments to take forward this project;
  6. Urges the State Party to complete the Management Plan for Jailsamer Fort, along with the planned sub-plans for visitor management, risk preparedness and livelihood generation for the local population, and submit them to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Also expresses its concern that control on mining in the setting of Chittorgarh Fort, in place at the time of inscription, appears to have been relaxed;
  8. Also requests the State Party to provide, as soon as possible, and no later than 1 December 2015, details of the current arrangement of mining in the setting of the Chittorgarh Fort;
  9. Further requests the State Party to provide a detailed report of the consolidation measures undertaken and foreseen for the Kumbhalgarh Fort;
  10. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.