BANGALORE: The State Government will focus on Mysore, which has been identified as a heritage city, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), and expedite conservation work in Hampi, said Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao on Saturday.
Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of the valedictory session of the two-day seminar on “How to become and remain a world heritage site”, he said: “In Hampi, we have a proposal of spending Rs. 81 crore of which the Union Government is to give Rs. 50 crore. The master plan for Hampi has been approved and we are pushing for Central funds to be sanctioned as soon as possible.” He also reflected on the lack of any sort of cultural tourism in Bangalore and said that the Government would work towards new initiatives.
The seminar was attended by a diverse range of experts from architects to bureaucrats to mayors from 18 States and even South East Asia. Minja Yang, Director, UNESCO, New Delhi, said: “Conservation is a very inter-disciplinary process and India has the variety in expertise to deal with these issues.”
Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Panchayat Raj, T.R. Raghunandan stressed on the need to include passionate amateurs. While appreciating the model followed in Hampi, where the powers are given to the panchayati raj, he said that other States must follow suit. “We need to have and acknowledge a human element in heritage restoration. That will make all the difference,” he said.
The seminar in Bangalore followed a similar conference at Hampi that provided a common forum to agencies such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Archaeological Survey of India with the Government of Karnataka.