Jaipur: Jaipurites celebrated the World Heritage Site status bestowed upon the Walled City by UNESCO on Saturday. While it has come as great news for people who are nostalgic about Jaipur, the question is: Will Jaipur be able to maintain this prestigious recognition?
UNESCO reviews the list of places inscribed on its list of World Heritage Sites every three years. If the civic authorities don’t wake up to the challenge of maintaining this status, the city may lose it again, say experts.
Several problems such as traffic congestion, encroachments and illegal constructions plague the Walled City.
“There is no denying the fact that maintaining the sanitation, removing encroachments and putting a stop on illegal constructions will be a big challenge, but we will now double up our efforts to keep the Walled City a world class tourist destination. We will try to spread awareness among shopkeepers and local residents about what this tag actually means and how it will benefit them to maintain it. Action would be taken against those who flout the norms,” said a senior JMC officer.
He added that the Rajasthan government plans to go ahead with its proposal of ban on new construction. The works undergoing under the Smart City Project to rejuvenate the Walled City will be stepped up and more funds will be invested in rehabilitation and restoration of the glory of the Walled City, he added.
The city was founded by then king of Jaipur Jai Singh. The Walled City features many heritage sites including Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Chandra Mahal, old temples, hawelis, the wall around the old markets and gates.
The World Heritage Site tag will boost international tourism, contributing to strengthening of the city economy.