'Linkage'. It is an important word and a more important concept. Especially, when used in the context of monuments and sites across India that are competing to bag the coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site tag. In the very same context are two important precincts from the city - the Qutb Shahi Tombscomplex and Golconda Fort - which the government and its affiliated agencies have failed to link. Apart from Charminar, the Hyderabad dossier sent for UNESCO's consideration includes the royal necropolis and the fort. But heritage experts feared that unless both precincts are linked, the title may well remain elusive.

"Both monuments should have a physical and visual connection. They must not be isolated from one another," con servation architect Anuradha Naik, who has studied such linkages, explains. "The citadel and the necropolis are a part of the same ensemble.The rulers wanted the tombs - where their ancestors were buried - to be seen from where they were living, which is the Golconda Fort," she says. ... Experts opine that heritage conservation in the city in general, and the Qutb Shahi Tombs complex and Golconda Fort in particular, is a case of too many cooks. While the necropolis is in the custody of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, the fort is in the custody of the Archaeological Survey of India. The State Wakf Board being a stakeholder has complicated matters in the past.