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Majuli agency writes to ASI

Jorhat, Dec. 11: The Majuli Cultural Landscape Management Authority has written to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to know about the status of revised dossier on the island for resending it to Unesco for another attempt to include Majuli in the World Heritage site list.

The 1,256-page dossier, The River Island of Majuli, Cultural Landscape and Living Traditions in Mid-stream of Brahmaputra in Assam, comprising six volumes, was submitted to the Paris-based World Heritage Centre (under Unesco) in January this year.

In March, the dossier was sent back by the World Heritage Centre citing three shortcomings that needed rectification.

The ASI had appointed a two-member sub-committee to supervise the dossier for correcting the three errors in it.

Conservationist architect S.N. Murthy, who owns the Hyderabad-based consultancy firm that had prepared the dossier, had given the first presentation of the revised dossier before the sub-committee on August in New Delhi.

Former director-general of ASI C. Babu Rajiv and an expert on disaster mitigation Rohit Jigyasu are on the two-member panel while MCLMA chief executive officer S.I. Hussain and three experts on Majuli from Assam had attended the presentation as special invitees.

The meeting decided to hold a presentation of the revised dossier on the island or in Jorhat later this year to take the opinion of the people on the dossier.

Hussain, who is also the commissioner (Upper Assam division), told The Telegraph here today that a few days back he wrote to the ASI requesting to know the status of the revised dossier on Majuli.

“As there has been no correspondence from the ASI office with our office since the meeting of the sub-committee on August 13, we are in the dark about the matter,” Hussain said.

He said he had also asked the ASI to speak on the meeting’s decision to hold a people’s convention in Majuli or here to discuss the dossier. The CEO said he had asked the ASI to inform his office about the continuity of the consultancy firm — M/s Kshetra — that had prepared the dossier.

“Earlier, I had heard that the tenure of contract awarded to the firm for preparing the dossier was about to expire later this year. Whether the term has been extended or a new firm has been given the job, we should be informed,” he added.

Hussain said another decision taken in the August meeting was that after organising the presentation of the revised dossier in Majuli, the sub-committee would hold its sitting in Jorhat or Guwahati and give its consent for the final draft of the dossier.