After Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, actor Amitabh Bachchan has now made a plea to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to endorse Mumbai

Last month, the Union culture ministry sent Nalanda University’s nomination as this year’s entry from India, sidelining Mumbai’s Victorian Neo Gothic and Art Deco ensemble. A final call with regard to India’s official nomination will, however, be taken in March.

In his letter to Modi, dated February 21, Bachchan said he was writing as a “concerned citizen of the country and a loving Mumbaikar”. It read, “I am writing to you to bring to your attention the need to enhance Mumbai’s nomination for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The nomination dossier…needs to be officially endorsed by your government as India’s official entry for UNESCO World heritage site for the year 2015.” During the state government’s recently held ‘Mumbai Next’ conclave, Bachchan, the brand ambassador for Gujarat tourism, was one of the panelists of the session on entertainment and tourism. At the conclave, the actor pledged his support to CM Fadnavis to promote the cause of Mumbai’s tourism.

Mumbai’s nomination was first sent to UNESCO in January 2014 along with Delhi’s nomination of Shahjanabad and Lutyens’ building zone. But when it came to making a final call in March, the central government prioritised Delhi’s nomination. The Maharashtra government’s dossier highlights the blend of two centuries of architectural genres around the 22-acre Oval Maidan namely the 19th century Neo-Gothic buildings and the 20th century art deco buildings of Marine Drive. Conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah, who was among those responsible for drawing up Mumbai’s dossier, said Bachchan’s endorsement would serve as a much-needed shot in the arm for Mumbai’s cause.