BHOPAL: The Bhedaghat-Lamheta Ghat in Jabalpur and the Satpura Tiger Reserve in the Hoshangabad district may soon be included among the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh.
Principal Secretary, Tourism, Sheo Shekhar Shukla said that once the formalities are completed, MP will become the only state with two natural sites in the UNESCO list. In the next phase, the nominations of these sites will be sent according to the procedure laid down by UNESCO. He said that only sites with specific characteristics are included in the list of possible sites.
Shukla informed that the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board had sent a proposal to include the Satpura Tiger Reserve and Bhedaghat-Lamheta Ghat in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Potentials to the Director General, ASI, Government of India on April 9. ASI is the nodal department for sending the proposals to UNESCO.
Shukla said that Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, Forest Department and Wildlife Institute Dehradun had contributed to this achievement. The Board has been assigned to W.I.I category-2 Centre in Dehradun for the identification of potential sites in the state and selection of excellent sites on the basis of their characteristics. After year-long analysis and field work, the sites were identified and three workshops were also conducted.
The first workshop was held in Bhopal, the second in Rishikesh and the third in Pachmarhi. Officers of Forest, Tourism and other related departments along with Principal Secretaries of Tourism and Forest Department attended the national workshop.
Three sites in Madhya Pradesh have already been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. They include the Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986), Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989) and the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003).