State to formulate policy for conversation of cultural heritage, forms high-powered panel

18 Apr 2017

The West Bengal government has formed a high powered committee in its bid to formulate a policy for conversation and restoration of cultural heritage, a senior official said today.
"Culture heritage is very important... The state government is trying to frame a new policy for preservation of cultural heritage. A high powered committee has started operating," West Bengal Heritage Commission secretary Umapada Chatterjee said here. The panel has held several meetings and hopefully something would come out soon," Chatterjee said. He said that the commission was thinking on amending the West Bengal Heritage Commission Act to incorporate intangible heritages in it.
"The Act was framed only on built heritage but bringing in intangible heritage is quite important. Experts' opinion will be sought regarding the amendment," the commission secretary said. Oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals fall under the category of intangible heritage. Accepting that there have been several infrastructural drawbacks in dealing with the restoration and preservation of heritage structures, Chatterjee said that the Commission was trying to raise the awareness level of common people.
On integrating the tourism sector with heritage sites, he said, "We are trying to publicise sites already restored on websites. Because at these sites there should be special type of tourists, special mind".  The Commission was also thinking of taking up a few policies of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) such as introducing entry fees for the sites which would help in maintaining the cultural sites, Chatterjee said. The Commission was working on launching its own website and link it as a tourism website, he said.
The Commission celebrated the World Heritage Day today by organising a seminar on conversation and restoration of heritage buildings done by it recently.