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Hill Forts of Rajasthan

India
Factors affecting the property in 2023*
  • 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
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2023

N/A

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2023
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2023**

N/A

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2023

On 1 December 2022, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/247/documents/. Progress with several conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in that report, as follows:

  • The Jaisalmer Fort Management Authority (JFMA) is being established in accordance with the Urban Development Act of the Government of Rajasthan and will implement the Management Plan and regulations under the direction of the State-level Fort Apex Advisory Committee;
  • The Site Management Plan (SMP) for Jaisalmer Fort has been adopted by the State-level Fort Apex Advisory Committee and will be given legal status under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act once the JFMA is established;
  • Following the completion of these processes, regulations arising from the SMP for heritage conservation and building repairs will be introduced;
  • Ongoing implementation issues include traffic management and parking problems, unauthorized hotels and restaurants, waste disposal, undergrounding of electricity cables, and lighting improvements;
  • Regular monitoring of unauthorised constructions is being undertaken;
  • Many residential properties have no clear ownership titles (apart from those owned by major trustees), creating difficulties for the government to take conservation actions;
  • Visitation is an acknowledged pressure on the property, and changes have been made to improve visitor management;
  • Preparation of a plan to assess the impacts of recovery from disasters is in progress, and risk assessments are used to prioritise structural interventions to dilapidated structures;
  • The promotion of tourism, road improvements, an annual festival and other events are important for livelihood generation;
  • Tourism planning to promote and protect traditional arts and crafts is in progress;
  • According to the National Policy for Conservation (2014), annual plans for conservation are prepared as well as the five-year plan for Jaisalmer Fort;
  • The Pitching Wall and Bastion no. 38 of Jaisalmer Fort have been the primary focus of conservation works since 2015-2016 onwards. These are largely completed and the technical estimation for conservation of Bastions no. 44 and 45 has recently been completed;
  • Progress on conservation projects at the Chittorgarh Fort includes completion of repairs to the Rampuriya Gate and desilting of water bodies;
  • All development projects within the property and its buffer zones are subject to Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA);
  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has commissioned a sub-circle under its ‘Jodhpur Circle’ to carry out monitoring at Jaisalmer Fort, which reports to the State-level Apex Committee and the Government of India. No issues have been identified to date;
  • No mining or blasting activity has occurred in the area surrounding the Chittorgarh Fort.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2023

The information that the SMP for Jaisalmer Fort will be formally included within the legal frameworks for the protection and management of the property once the Jaisalmer Fort Management Authority (JFMA) has been established is welcomed. It is noted that, once established, the JFMA will derive funds for its management activities from tourism-related activities. The State Party should be advised to be cautious regarding significant reliance on tourism-related income to fund the core management and protection activities for World Heritage, as these do not necessarily constitute sustainable means of funding. Based on the information received, it is not known whether the State Party has responded to the suggestions for improvement, which were made in Decision 44 COM 7B.25 in 2021.

The State Party indicates that determining the ownership of all buildings and spaces within the Jaisalmer Fort is not straightforward, and that this creates issues for the programming of conservation works. It is not clear what possible solutions exist, but it is nevertheless important to continue encouraging the State Party to address this matter.

Efforts for improved visitor management are noted. However, no information was provided about progress towards a full visitor management plan, which would be an important component of the management system for the property. Progress also appears limited in relation to the requested sub-plans for risk preparedness and livelihood generation, although the State Party has summarised relevant issues and indicated the local benefits from tourism initiatives and road improvements. These initiatives are noted, but the establishment of strategic and coordinated approaches could be enhanced through the development of the sub-plans that have been previously requested by the Committee.

It is understood that annual conservation plans are prepared, in line with the National Heritage Policy (2014), although their contents are not described in detail. Similarly, the existence of the five-year action plan for Jaisalmer Fort is noted. The State Party should be invited to submit the next Annual Conservation Plan as well as the five-year plan for Jaisalmer Fort to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies. The fact that works to the Pitching Wall and Bastion no. 38, which started in 2015-2016, are nearing completion should be welcomed, along with the updated information provided about current conservation programmes. Nonetheless, the development of a comprehensive Conservation Plan and a detailed Maintenance Plan, recommended in previous Committee decisions, remain an urgent priority.

The work of the ASI Jodhpur Circle to provide monitoring at the Jaisalmer Fort is welcomed, although the details submitted did not allow to determine whether this meets the monitoring standards for World Heritage properties. A systematic monitoring regime is required, based on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, the mitigation of key pressures, and the state of conservation of all attributes. If not already in place, this would represent a key component of the management system for the entire serial property.

Finally, the confirmation by the State Party that all development projects within the property and its buffer zones, including conservation and restoration projects, new visitor facilities and major adaptive reuse projects, are subject to HIAs should be welcomed. These should be carried out in line with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessment in a World Heritage Context.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2023
45 COM 7B.158
Hill Forts of Rajasthan (India) (C 247rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.24 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Notes the updated information concerning the planned and ongoing conservation projects at Chittorgarh Fort and Jaisalmer Fort;
  4. Welcomes the State Party’s advice regarding the formal inclusion of the Site Management Plan (SMP) for Jaisalmer Fort within the legal frameworks for the protection and management of the property, the progress made toward the establishment of the Jaisalmer Fort Management Authority, and the preparation of annual conservation plans along with a five-year plan for Jaisalmer Fort, and requests the State Party submit the next Annual Conservation Plan as well as the five-year plan for Jaisalmer Fort to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with information on the implementation of the planned actions for Jaisalmer Fort at its earliest convenience or whenever such information becomes available, and in particular concerning:
    1. The finalisation of the establishment of the Jaisalmer Fort Management Authority, and details about its legal and operational purview and its priority activities,
    2. The establishment of the SMP for Jaisalmer Fort under the Town and Country Planning Act, and continuing efforts to clarify the ownership of buildings within the property,
    3. The development of a sub-plan for visitor management for Jaisalmer Fort, which should be a high-priority activity as an essential part of the property’s management system,
    4. The development of the sub-plan for risk preparedness for Jaisalmer Fort,
    5. The development of the sub-plan for livelihood generation for the local population, taking into account the need for capacity building,
    6. Further development of the comprehensive Conservation Plan, taking into account the Technical Review and feedback to be provided by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies following the submission of the Annual Conservation Plan and the five-year Plan for Jaisalmer Fort,
    7. The 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 and attributes;
  6. Welcomes the State Party’s commitment to conduct Heritage Impact Assessments for all development projects within the serial property and its buffer zones, including conservation and restoration projects, new visitor facilities and adaptive reuse projects, and encourages the State Party to carry out these activities in line with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context and to request dedicated training on this revised methodology from the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, if needed;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.
Draft Decision: 45 COM 7B.158

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.24, adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Notes the updated information concerning the planned and ongoing conservation projects at Chittorgarh Fort and Jaisalmer Fort;
  4. Welcomes the State Party’s advice regarding the formal inclusion of the Site Management Plan (SMP) for Jaisalmer Fort within the legal frameworks for the protection and management of the property, the progress made toward the establishment of the Jaisalmer Fort Management Authority, and the preparation of annual conservation plans along with a five-year plan for Jaisalmer Fort, and requests the State Party submit the next Annual Conservation Plan as well as the five-year plan for Jaisalmer Fort to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with information on the implementation of the planned actions for Jaisalmer Fort at its earliest convenience or whenever such information becomes available, and in particular concerning:
    1. The finalisation of the establishment of the Jaisalmer Fort Management Authority, and details about its legal and operational purview and its priority activities,
    2. The establishment of the SMP for Jaisalmer Fort under the Town and Country Planning Act, and continuing efforts to clarify the ownership of buildings within the property,
    3. The development of a sub-plan for visitor management for Jaisalmer Fort, which should be a high-priority activity as an essential part of the property’s management system,
    4. The development of the sub-plan for risk preparedness for Jaisalmer Fort,
    5. The development of the sub-plan for livelihood generation for the local population, taking into account the need for capacity building,
    6. Further development of the comprehensive Conservation Plan, taking into account the Technical Review and feedback to be provided by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies following the submission of the Annual Conservation Plan and the five-year Plan for Jaisalmer Fort,
    7. The 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 and attributes;
  6. Welcomes the State Party’s commitment to conduct Heritage Impact Assessments for all development projects within the serial property and its buffer zones, including conservation and restoration projects, new visitor facilities and adaptive reuse projects, and encourages the State Party to carry out these activities in line with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessment in a World Heritage Context and to request dedicated training on this revised methodology from the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, if needed;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.
Report year: 2023
India
Date of Inscription: 2013
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2022) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 45COM (2023)
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.