The Heritage Lover: Shama Mitra Chenoy, author and professor of history at Shivaji College under Delhi University said that the nomination was likely taken back under pressure from traders.
“The proposal was withdrawn1 after the government at the Centre changed. Also, pressure from the traders’ lobby was brought to bear on the government, which is sad. Traders should have told about the importance of heritage. If the businessmen in Ahmedabad and Jaipur can accept this fact, why can’t people in Delhi’s walled city?” Chenoy, a resident of Sundar Nagar, said. She also worked on the dossier with INTACH.
The Administrator: Nitin Panigrahi, deputy general manager (DGM), pre Trader: oject and administration, Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC), differed, saying, “Let’s not forget that the walled cities of Ahmedabad or Jaipur have already gone through transformation before being accorded the tag. The UNESCO tag may not make any difference on the ground. To cite a case in point, Lahore, though not a UNESCO-tagged city, has seen redevelopment effort going at pace with heritage conservation,” he said.
The Trader: Atul Bhargava, president, New Delhi Traders’ Association (NDTA), said, “Heritage rules are trouble for us. If I have to repair my shop and make any change, I have to go through several levels and take permission, which is time-consuming and cumbersome,” he said.
- 1. However, in August 2015, three months after withdrawal of nomination, then Union minister for tourism and culture Mahesh Sharma announced that the government had not withdrawn the nomination of Delhi but only “requested the UNESCO Secretariat for postponement of the consideration of the nomination”.