NEW DELHI: Last June, the Centre halted Delhi's bid for a world heritage city tag just days before the Unesco world heritage meeting. This year, the Centre has endorsed Ahmedabad for this prestigious tag, once again bypassing Delhi. Experts believe Delhi would have had the tag if the Centre hadn't intervened.
Delhi's tourism minister Kapil Mishra lashed out at the Centre for promoting only Gujarat. In fact, he accused BJP of playing petty politics, claiming that Delhi's nomination was withdrawn after BJP lost the Delhi assembly elections last year. "A lot of time and effort had been spent in preparing the dossier for Delhi. The way its nomination for the world heritage tag was withdrawn and Ahmedabad projected shows the petty-mindedness of the BJP-led Centre. This was a choice between the country's capital and Gujarat's capital," said Mishra.
Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Delhi had been lobbying for the tag for the last few years. In January, 2014, the race was between Delhi and Mumbai. "Ahmedabad was not taken into consideration then as the committee had decided a few months earlier that Ahmedabad's dossier was incomplete, though the documentation work was excellent. The committee suggested that the incomplete portions be finished at the earliest so that Ahmedabad's nomination could be submitted later," said an official.
Mumbai's bid was also stopped as, said ASI sources, the dossier was not strong enough to justify outstanding universal value and there were boundary issues concerning Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.