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Hill Forts of Rajasthan

India
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Illegal activities
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Industrial areas
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
  • Other Threats:

    Vulnerabilities of certain individual structures within the forts requiring short-term conservation actions

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Housing (Urban development in wider setting of Chittorgarh Fort)
  • Mining (Industrial mining activities in wider setting of Chittorgarh Fort)
  • Management systems / Management Plan (Interpretation strategy for the overall ensembles of palaces, temples and fortifications)
  • Management activities (Vulnerabilities of certain individual structures within the forts requiring short-term conservation actions at Jaisalmer and Chittorgarh Forts)
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Illegal activities
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Industrial areas
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 3 December 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/247/documents/ and provides information on the actions undertaken to implement the Committee’s previous decisions as follows:

  • The Site Management Plan (SMP) for Jaisalmer Fort, including a brief time-bound action plan, has been finalized following consultations with various stakeholders, including the State and District administrations and local residents. It identifies 18 issues to be addressed, including the improvement of infrastructure, waste disposal and hygiene conditions; conservation works on the structures (which contribute to the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value - OUV); and key components of the management system, including monitoring mechanisms, relevant research records, risk management planning, interpretation planning, and financial incentives;
  • Conservation works undertaken at Jaisalmer Fort include several pitching wall sections and bulging stonework of outer bastion no. 38;
  • Conservation and repair works undertaken at Chittogarh Fort include: restoration of walls and pathways; repair of roadside railings; construction of fences (various sections), masonry pedestals and grills; restoration of stone wall at Manpura Bhanpura Haveli; site preparation works for the restoration of the Baori between Kumbha Palace and Vijay Stambh; restoration of damaged fortification walls near More Magari, Ratan Singh Palace, and Hathi Kund/Khatan Baowri; restoration of Nagina Moti Bazar and adjacent fortification; repair to signs, benches and bins; and establishment of total station survey;
  • Infrastructure improvement works at Jaisalmer Fort, undertaken by the Rajasthan Urban Infrastructure Development Project, include sewerage (completed, with the exception of the Mori portion), water supply (completed), and electric and telephone cables (completed);
  • Regulations are in place to address unauthorized constructions (or ‘encroachments’);
  • Concerning the legal challenge to mining and blasting controls in the setting of Chittorgarh Fort, under consideration by the Supreme Court of India, the State Party quotes from the 2012 High Court order that controls these activities. The State Party also states that no mining or blasting has been detected in the area surrounding the Chittogarh Fort in the past four years.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

Concerning the legal challenge to mining and blasting controls in the setting of Chittorgarh Fort, it is recommended that the State Party continue its efforts to ensure that no mining or blasting occurs. Information about the works carried out to repair elements of Jaisalmer and Chittorgarh Forts is noted.

The progress made on the SMP for Jaisalmer Fort, an important component of the management system for the serial property, should be welcomed. Overall, the SMP represents a satisfactory overarching document, but key elements remain priorities for continued work.

The SMP has a vision to conserve the historic built fabric while also sustaining the living traditions and values of the ‘living fort’. It is structured to first identify management issues, which are translated into objectives. This could be further strengthened by incorporating a clear sense of the values and their attributes, in order to ensure that the property’s OUV is sustained.

The SMP’s 18 objectives are derived from an analysis of the issues and vary from short-term, specific outcomes to longer-term, ongoing conservation works (including repair and maintenance). A substantial short-term agenda is foreseen for implementation, but without details about resourcing and capacity.

Although some overarching objectives and general intentions are outlined, and a range of immediate and short-term actions to enhance the visitor experience are listed, including an interpretation centre, tourist information centres, tourism paths and signage for visitors, the requested sub-plan for visitor management has not yet been produced. This sub-plan is needed to guide these and other initiatives and should be considered a priority. More details were provided on the sub-plan for risk management, although many of its actions appear to be ‘mid-term’, and the strategy needs to be better articulated as an operationally oriented framework that also includes capacity building. The SMP addresses the requested sub-plan for livelihood generation for the local population; however, it is noted that this will require a framework to support ongoing and long-term actions, including the effectiveness of the implementation of regulations and other measures to curtail unauthorised constructions or encroachments.

It is welcomed that practical guidelines for repairs and conservation works have been developed to support the maintenance of the different precincts within the Fort, and that a ‘comprehensive conservation plan’ for the fort will be developed within a year, with a long-term program for conservation works to follow. This is an important part of the continued development of the management system. Planned monitoring and maintenance approaches, including the periodicity of measurement and agency responsibilities, could be further developed to monitor more explicitly the condition of the attributes of OUV. This would notably facilitate reporting, especially in view of the upcoming Periodic Reporting exercise.

It is noted that, at present, the SMP stands outside of the legal protection system, and that the State Party intends to ‘provide a legal backup’ to ensure its implementation. The State-Level Fort Apex Committee, chaired by the Chief Secretary and established by an Executive Order of the Government of Rajasthan, provides a coordinated management mechanism across the six inscribed forts in Rajasthan. The SMP provides a revised proposal that retains this Committee, but also establishes the Jaisalmer Fort Management Authority (JFMA) with day-to-day implementation and monitoring responsibilities for this component. The JFMA will be established according to the provisions of the Urban Development Act of the Rajasthan Government.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.24
Hill Forts of Rajasthan (India) (C 247rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7B.65, 40 COM 7B.35, and 42 COM 7B.7, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 42nd sessions (Manama, 2018) respectively,
  3. Welcomes the finalisation of the Site Management Plan (SMP) for Jaisalmer Fort, and requests the State Party to report on progress concerning the resourcing and implementation of the planned actions, including the following high-priority matters:
    1. Effectiveness of the implementation of regulations and other measures to curtail unauthorised constructions and/or encroachments,
    2. Efforts to incorporate the SMP into the legal protection system and ongoing efforts to clarify the ownership of property,
    3. Development of the sub-plan for visitor management for Jaisalmer Fort, as a key part of the management system that will guide the development of appropriately designed and in-situ facilities and other initiatives to enhance the visitor experience, and requirement that Heritage Impact Assessments be conducted for all new facilities within the property boundaries or the buffer zone,
    4. Development of the sub-plans for risk preparedness and livelihood generation for the local population, to ensure that they can be operationalized and implemented, taking into account the need for capacity building,
    5. Development of the foreseen comprehensive Conservation Plan, together with detailed plans for maintenance of Jaisalmer Fort,
    6. Development of detailed and action-oriented monitoring of the condition of the World Heritage property, based on a clear articulation of its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and attributes,
    7. Adoption of the SMP by the Fort Apex Committee, including resourcing, priorities and intended timeframes for the implementation of the plan,
    8. Implementation of the proposed management framework, including the establishment of the Jaisalmer Fort Management Authority, and articulation of its capacities and priority activities;
  4. Notes the information provided about the completion of infrastucture work for water supply, sewerage and electrical/telephone cables for Jaisalmer Fort, as well as on conservation and repair works undertaken at Jaisalmer Fort and Chittogarh Fort;
  5. Also welcomes the advice from the State Party that no mining or blasting has occurred in the area surrounding the Chittogarh Fort since the inscription of the serial property, strongly encourages the State Party to ensure that such activities are not resumed, and also requests the State Party to submit, as a matter of priority, further information on progress towards the final resolution of the legal challenge that is being considered by the Supreme Court of India;
  6. Encourages the State Party to ensure that all development projects within the property and buffer zones, including all major conservation and restoration projects, new visitor facilities and major adaptive reuse projects, are subject to Heritage Impact Assessments, in line with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance, and that information about any project that could have an impact on the OUV of the property is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any decision is made that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.24

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7B.65 , 40 COM 7B.35, and 42 COM 7B.7, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 42nd sessions (Manama, 2018) respectively,
  3. Welcomes the finalisation of the Site Management Plan (SMP) for Jaisalmer Fort, and requests the State Party to report on progress concerning the resourcing and implementation of the planned actions, including the following high-priority matters:
    1. Effectiveness of the implementation of regulations and other measures to curtail unauthorised constructions and/or encroachments,
    2. Efforts to incorporate the SMP into the legal protection system and ongoing efforts to clarify the ownership of property,
    3. Development of the sub-plan for visitor management for Jaisalmer Fort, as a key part of the management system that will guide the development of appropriately designed and in-situ facilities and other initiatives to enhance the visitor experience, and requirement that Heritage Impact Assessments be conducted for all new facilities within the property boundaries or the buffer zone,
    4. Development of the sub-plans for risk preparedness and livelihood generation for the local population, to ensure that they can be operationalized and implemented, taking into account the need for capacity building,
    5. Development of the foreseen comprehensive Conservation Plan, together with detailed plans for maintenance of Jaisalmer Fort,
    6. Development of detailed and action-oriented monitoring of the condition of the World Heritage property, based on a clear articulation of its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and attributes,
    7. Adoption of the SMP by the Fort Apex Committee, including resourcing, priorities and intended timeframes for the implementation of the plan,
    8. Implementation of the proposed management framework, including the establishment of the Jaisalmer Fort Management Authority, and articulation of its capacities and priority activities;
  4. Notes the information provided about the completion of infrastucture work for water supply, sewerage and electrical/telephone cables for Jaisalmer Fort, as well as on conservation and repair works undertaken at Jaisalmer Fort and Chittogarh Fort;
  5. Also welcomes the advice from the State Party that no mining or blasting has occurred in the area surrounding the Chittogarh Fort since the inscription of the serial property, strongly encourages the State Party to ensure that such activities are not resumed, and also requests the State Party to submit, as a matter of priority, further information on progress towards the final resolution of the legal challenge that is being considered by the Supreme Court of India;
  6. Encourages the State Party to ensure that all development projects within the property and buffer zones, including all major conservation and restoration projects, new visitor facilities and major adaptive reuse projects, are subject to Heritage Impact Assessments, in line with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance, and that information about any project that could have an impact on the OUV of the property is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any decision is made that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session in 2023.
Report year: 2021
India
Date of Inscription: 2013
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2019) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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