World Heritage List marks the end of a fourteen-year journey.
Mumbai: For conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah, south Mumbai’s iconic heritage buildings making it to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List marks the end of a fourteen-year journey.
Ms Lambah had, in 2014, presented a dossier on Mumbai’s Art Deco buildings at a UNESCO conference on modern architecture in Chandigarh where concerns on the lack of representation of 19th and 20th century heritage on the World Heritage List were discussed.
The idea found resonance with local citizen groups such as UDRI, Kala Ghoda Association, Oval Coop-erage Residents Association, OVAL Trust, Nariman Point Church gate Citizens Association, Heritage Mile Association, Federation of Resident’s Trusts and Observer Research Foundation as well as the MMR Heritage Conservation Society and was actively endorsed by eminent Mumbaikars such as chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, actor Amit-abh Bachchan and Bhara-tiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Shaina NC who wrote to the central government endorsing this nomination.
Ms Lambah said, “It’s a great feeling since we all were waiting for this from the past four years. The dossier was prepared four years ago and I came up with this idea 14 years back. It felt immense pride when among the 21 nation states each and every one endorsed and complimented this dossier. Azerbaijan called it perfect while France said it was magnificent.” She added, “It gives us a satisfaction since the inscription will put Mumbai on the map financially as well as culturally.”
Expressing happiness, Ms Shaina said, “We have been struggling for this since a long time as Mumbai is the most deserving city for recognition. Credit also goes to the conservationists as well as Mumbaikars.”
Maneck Davar, chairman of Kala Ghoda Association, said the tag would motivate and encourage people and government authorities to maintain and preserve the character of such buildings. “We are extremely delighted with this inscription as it was well deserved,” he said.