The Maharashtra government has sent a proposal to UNESCO demanding world heritage status for land and sea forts as well as the petroglyphs in the state.
“We are trying for inclusion of at least some important forts in the state in the ‘world heritage structure’ list,” minister for cultural affairs Sudhir Mungantiwar said here after a meeting of committee under him formed for conservation and management of forts and other ancient structures in the state.
Archaeology department's mission
“A proposal for conservation of hilly forts and sea forts of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s times and the ancient petroglyphs have been sent to UNESCO. We at the archaeology department are trying to prove the historical and archaeological importance of the structures by highlighting the peculiarities of the forts in relation to the history of Maratha empire and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s war strategy,” said director of archaeology Dr Tejas Garge.
MLA Sangram Thopte had moved a calling attention motion over the issue in the budget session of the state legislature earlier this year. Accordingly development plans for Rajgad and Torna forts have already been finalized, the minister said adding that the demand for inclusion of forts Raireshwar, Rohideshwar, Sonawadi and Daulat Mangal in the development plan too is under consideration. “Instructions to prepare development plan for 59 forts across the state too have been given at the meeting,” Mungantiwar added.
CSR funds for conservation
He also said that efforts are being made to get the CSR funds for conservation of forts. “We have identified six forts where the conservation work will be carried out with CSR funds. We have already written to a few industrial houses in this regard,” Mungantiwar said.
The minister also said that the state government plans to organize a global meet of archaeologists and conservationists as part of the efforts for the conservation of forts and other structures in the state. “Such a meet will help exchange of ideas and introduce us to the newer trends in the field,” Mungantiwar said.