In conservation circles all over the world, as well as in India, it is accepted that heritage protection and management needs to be integrated with mainstream development and the existing administrative context to be successful. The Archaeological Park proposals in this report are to be therefore integrated within the existing framework of administration and governance to make them viable and practical.
In India the existing administrative systems towards development are themselves highly developed; however, heritage protection and management is weak due to various lacunae, namely:
Existing legislation does not offer adequate protection to a range of cultural resources. As unprotected entities, they therefore are not managed with a view towards conserving them.
Heritage management measures are limited in scope, being normally restricted to cleaning of monuments, stabilization of weak structures through insensitive means, and ‘beautification’ of the gardens that surround these monuments.
The absence of community participation in the decision making process often makes heritage protection and management appear to be an imposition on the public.
In the following chapters the concept of cultural resource protection and management will be developed to bring it at par with mainstream systems of governance through the protection of heritage resources, sector- level protection, and policies for interventions.
Urban areas such as Imphal are managed through a complex system of public entities and annual budgets, which provide and maintain the urban infrastructure. For example, city roads are maintained by the Public Works Department (PWD), electricity infrastructure by the State Electricity Board (SEB), sewage and sanitation infrastructure by the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), horticulture by the Horticulture Department, and water, telephone and other utilities by their respective departments. For the most part management and maintenance by these entities, is determined by their own financial and logistical imperatives – resulting in uncoordinated improvements all over the city.
By comparison, built heritage is left to the State Archaeology Department to manage, which ends up protecting only those entities listed under the State Monuments Act, which itself is limited in the kinds of structures that it can protect. Natural heritage is offered little or no protection since in urban areas it falls under the category of gardens or recreational areas.
In this chapter the General Management of the site will be discussed because it is the current system in place. Cultural Resource Management as a part of Integrated Management will be discussed in Chapter 7 because it is a new aspect of management that has been added to ensure comprehensive and quality management of the Archaeological Park.
General Management refers to the management related to the entire site of Kangla Fort as an urban area. This will include all the multi-disciplinary agencies, and their managerial tasks that will be required to maintain the site and prevent it from deteriorating. In fact, this forms part of the core management dealing with basic aspects of the site such as infrastructure, services, and the phasing and financing of improvements related to these.
The Kangla Fort Archeological Park is an important entity in the Master Plan of Imphal. The physical management of the park - once completely under the Department of Archaeology - will need to be dealt with at an urban level in the context of the city and its immediate surroundings etc. The park is in this sense unlike a single ‘passive’ monument such as a tomb within a garden – where the two primary management issues are of the structure and the garden. Kangla Fort has not only heritage resources but will always be a ‘living’ entity within the city of Imphal given the number of agencies and citizens that will use it and be involved with it. The various tasks related to the upkeep of the site therefore need to be managed by the various governing bodies such as the City Municipality, Electricity Board, Water Board, Department of Telecommunications etc in partnership with the custodian of the site – the Department of Archaeology.
Core Management refers to the overall management of Kangla Fort Archaeological Park as an urban entity and a heritage resource and encompasses the decision-making committees, implementing agencies, management tasks, financing and phasing of management. There is a need for Kangla Fort to have a comprehensive and effective core management as the basic support for its continued existence. Core management itself is a multi-faceted idea, and can therefore be examined under several heads, namely:
- Area Management
- Administrative Management
- Staffing Management
- Maintenance Management
- Service Management
Visitor management is discussed in Chapter 6 as it is a direct outcome of the Concept Development Plan.
There are two levels of area management for the Kangla Fort Archaeological Park – that as complete urban entity, and at the level of sectors within the fort.
Urban Management: As an urban entity Kangla Fort is managed as a city and state level regional park and heritage resource, with the appropriate measures taken to maintain its infrastructure, facilities, and services.
Sector Management: As part of the Concept Development Plan (refer Chapter 6) Kangla Fort has been divided into eight sectors, each of which has been clearly defined and given an interpretive theme. At the sector-level then, management issues are related to the level of usage permitted in the various sectors of the park, and the development controls related to new construction, renovations, and demolitions. This is required because since the present Master Plan definition of the Kangla Fort is that of a Regional Park (RP) – the state building bylaws which are related to plot-sizes and frontage on streets will not apply in the conventional sense. This could potentially open up the park to misuse in terms of over development, underlining the importance of sector-level management.
The recommendations for each sector in this regard are given in the following chapters, and at the beginning of each Sector in Volume-II.
The successful implementation of the Concept Development Plan will require a restructuring of relationships between existing agencies, and the creation of four new core entities from within existing agencies and resources. These are:
- Kangla Fort Archaeological Park Committee (KFAP Committee)
- Kangla Fort Archaeological Park Steering Committee (KFAP Steering Committee)
- Kangla Fort Archaeological Park Technical group (KFAP Technical Group)
- Kangla Fort Archaeological Park Task Force (KFAP Task Force)
The composition of these agencies and their duties and responsibilities are described in detail under Integrated Management in chapter 7, but in brief. – the KFAP Committee is the decision making body for the Concept Development Plan , while the KFAP Steering Committee advises the KFAP Committee to ensure that all interests are protected. The KFAP Technical Group, created out of the Department of Archaeology, is the nodal implementation and coordination agency, particularly all areas protected under the State Monuments Act. The KFAP Task Force consists of representatives of all concerned agencies to ensure coordination in implementation. Significant responsibilities will be as follows:
The decision making body for the Archaeological Park will be the Kangla Fort Archaeological Park Committee.
- The Kangla Fort Archaeological Park Technical Group and the Kangla Fort
- Archaeological Park Task Force will coordinate the various agencies responsible for the different tasks in the Kangla Fort Archaeological Park. They will also be responsible for
- Periodical maintenance and Management of Cultural Resources
- Periodical maintenance and Management of Open Areas
- Overseeing the implementation of the Concept Development Plan.
- Monitoring and over all control of standards of intervention.
- The Implementation and management of Heritage interpretation and Recreational projects is the responsibility of the KFAP Technical Group
Staffing & Facilities Management:
The Kangla Fort Archaeological Park will need its own dedicated facilities, equipment, and staff to ensure its effective management, as well as to ensure the conservation of its various cultural resources through the Cultural Resource Information Management System (refer Chapter 3).
New Staffing Requirements:
The various areas requiring staffing include administration, operations, maintenance, services, projects, security, etc. The administration will possibly be headed by a Park Director, who will be supported by assistants and secretaries. The initial staffing for the administration could potentially be taken from existing staffing within the Department of Archaeology for the present. Operations will require an Assistant director, Education Coordinator, Exhibit Curator apart from support staff. Maintenance and security will require a Park Supervisor and Security Supervisor apart from support staff.
New Space Requirements:
Implementation of the Concept Development Plan will require the establishment of a project office on site. The office will be called the Kangla Fort Archaeological Park Site Office and Resource Centre (KFAP Site office and Resource Centre). The office will be located in the historical Buildings of the DDAM’s Residence and the Subedar Major’s office. The KFAP Technical Group also will be stationed at this office. The Cultural Resource Database, described earlier in this chapter, will also be kept at the office under the State Department of Archaeology.
New Equipment Requirements
Creating, managing and maintaining the Cultural Resource Database will require computer hardware with GIS capabilities. The hardware will consist of:
- Information entry systems: digital cameras, scanners
- Information processing systems: computer server, workstations, software
- Information storage systems: CD-ROM drives, optical-disk drives
- Information delivery systems: printers, CD-writers
The KFAP Task Force will prepare an annual Maintenance and Management Plan and seek an annual budget from the KFAP Committee. The efficient functioning of the Kangla Archaeological Park in future depends on the kind of maintenance involved. The maintenance management needs to be worked out effectively. This would involve the maintenance of the overall park and the individual cultural resources. The maintenance management should be worked out for the entire Park inclusive of services, visitor amenities and the various cultural resources. The maintenance strategy will naturally vary for each of these entities.
The Cultural Resource Management Plan, which will be a part of the overall Maintenance and Management Plan will outline routine maintenance (from daily to annual) for the heritage resources and the immediate repairs investigation and long term with prioritization. Depending on the cultural resource involved, the maintenance would be annual, monthly, weekly or daily. A periodical assessment would be required to make sure the maintenance strategy adopted is effective.
Sector-wise plans for services (involving all services in the park) would prepared by the relevant city department as part of the overall Maintenance and Management Plan. The relevant city departments will be required to contribute to the management budget in order to implement / execute the management plan. In this sense it is to be reiterated that the Kangla Fort is to be seen as an integral city resource, and not as a park in isolation.
The tasks include up-gradation of the existing service facilities or provision of new lines like the road network, electrical lines, sewer layout, water supply, telephone network etc. as per the Concept Development Plan, or modification in the existing service networks. Apart from the basic amenities, street lighting, provision of visitor facilities is also important. This involves the construction of restrooms at strategic locations inside the fort, seating, drinking water fountains, trash receptacles, shelters, signage etc.,
The management of the services also requires future planning and maintenance. All parameters, which influence the services including the number of visitors to the park, need to be taken into consideration, while planning.
Transition to a New Paradigm
The Concept Development Plan broadens the very idea of what is heritage, and brings this broader definition of heritage under the protection of not only the State Monuments Act but the Town Planning Act. It achieves this by modifying the definition of Kangla Fort as a Regional Park to that of a Regional Park (Archaeological Park) and therefore establishes various sectors and historic structures to be protected under the Town Planning Act. This legal aspect is dealt with in detail in the Chapters 5 & 6.
The management of Kangla Fort Archaeological Park therefore takes on a broader definition as the management of a historically important urban area, with the Department of Archaeology, the Town Planning Department, and all the other public agencies having a role to play in executing and implementing the Concept Development Plan.
Cultural Resource Information Management
At the heart of the transition to the new paradigm lies the development of a Cultural Resource Information Management System (refer Chapter 3) which is centered on a database of the entire cultural resource that is Kangla Fort and also incorporates future research. This database is referred to as the Cultural Resource Database. A major part of the database has already been submitted to the Government of Manipur, by the project team, in the form of the inventories of the fort. This database is an essential part of the future KFAP Management System.
It is essential to develop and expand this database further, operationalise it and make it a part of the Management System of the future Kangla Archaeological Park. The Department of Archaeology shall maintain and be responsible for the database (Ref. Vol. III KFAP Concept Plan, Draft, July 2001). The database shall be expandable and contain all information directly and indirectly related to the Kangla Fort. The Cultural Resource Database developed as a result will disseminate information on all Heritage components identified and will be used for site presentation, signage and simple information for the visitors.
Building Technical Capacities
Since the Statement of Significance (refer Chapter 1) establishes Kangla Fort not only as a historically important urban area but as a significant and unique cultural resource for the people, there is a need to develop new capabilities within the existing institutions to be able to manage this resource, for example:
- The Department of Archaeology needs to build the technical capacity to carry out the maintenance and management of historic structures and open areas from both the Manipur era and the British era, according to international conservation standards.
- The horticulture department needs to build the capacity to be able to maintain and
- manage the historical gardens that will be restored.
- The Ministry of Culture needs to build the technical capacity to manage the many museums that are being proposed.
- There are many other tasks that require specialized expertise, such as the proposed specialized landscapes (medicinal plants, orchidarium, aquatic pond garden etc) and inter-departmental collaboration will be critical to the success of these projects.
Training and research
There is also tremendous potential in the future for training for the development of new skills and abilities for the implementation of the Concept Development Plan in the following areas:
- Archaeological Site Management.
- World War II heritage conservation and museum displays
- Dynamic and interpretive exhibition design for multi objects
- State of the Art Park and Cultural Resource Management.
Since a major portion of the historical components of the Kangla Fort no longer exist, it is crucial to establish a research programme, run by qualified researchers, to identify traditional practices and materials as are applicable to the fort. This is essential if building practices such as were carried out to recreate the Western Gate, and that will not stand the test of international conservation norms, are to be avoided – this has been discussed along with other issues of conservation in Chapter 2.
For example, research is needed on traditional Manipuri architecture - both historical and contemporary. The project team has already initiated some research in this direction and the findings are submitted as an adjunct report along with the Concept Development Plan.1 Research and collating of existing information is also needed on traditional building materials including bamboo, ephemeral materials, brick and wood.
At this point it is envisaged that that the KFAP Technical Group be created from existing governmental human resources – mostly from the Department of Archaeology. To be able to successfully implement the Concept Development Plan over the long term, including the cultural resource database, research, training, and education requires the creation of an entity whose skills and capabilities go beyond that which are available in the Department of Archaeology. After a period of five years therefore it is envisaged that an autonomous institution will be set up under the Ministry of Culture to manage the park and further its development as a heritage resource.
For the Core Management of the park to run efficiently will require a stable funding system. Funds for the Archaeological Park will be utilized for the following:
- Conservation and maintenance projects for the Park
- Development of new projects for the park as outlined in the Concept Development Plan
- Revision and maintenance of the Cultural Resource Database
- Training, research, and education programmes related to the Park.
- Staffing not provided for from existing agencies.
Details of the kinds and amounts of finances that are required are described the section on Funding Mechanisms For Integrated Management in Chapter 7. Details of project-related finances are discussed at the end of Volume-II.
It is thus clear that only through the modification of existing administrative systems, capacity building and training, the creation of a permanent cultural resource database, and clear lines of funding – can a coherent organization and structure within the system be created to develop, enhance and promote the Kangla Fort Archaeological park.
- 1. A Brief Report on The Distinctive Residential Architecture of the Tribals of Manipur, compiled and prepared by B.Rajshree Devi ; Text Reviewed by Sushil Kumar