Kathmandu, November 25:
Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha and one of the four World Heritage Sites of the country, is soon going to have a framework for future plans in the sacred archaeological site soon.
Since the site is now a centre of attraction for religious pilgrims, architectural students and tourism entrepreneurs, the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is going to come up with a framework based on which all new master plans and other development works will be carried out.
“The drafting of the framework has begun. It is going to stop the government as well as other institutions from making unwanted changes in the site,” said Kai Waise, the adviser for drafting the framework for the UNESCO Kathmandu Office.
The Integrated Management Plan (IMP) will define the significance, size and right of authorities concerned from different aspects, the UNESCO adviser further said. More than a single plan, it is a system, process or function of the area, which will be the supreme guideline for Lumbini, once it is endorsed by the cabinet, he said.
Though the focus of the framework is the patch of land measuring 1.92 square metre, in which Lord Buddha was born, the framework will also come up with recommendations for buffer zones and other surrounding development zones in this Integrated Management Plan, in line with recommendations made by the World Heritage Committee to prevent the total de-listing of the site from the World Heritage Site list. “We will also draw certain lines on how existing factories, the proposed construction of the international airport and dams in nearby rivers will or could affect the vulnerability of the site,” Waise said.
The government must make sure that development works to be carried out around the site do not affect the site, Waise further said.He said that the plan itself is not a master plan, but a broad and long-term guideline that will govern drawing of new master plans and other initiatives for conservation or development of the the area.
“It is good to hear that Lumbini will have its IMP, finally,” said Kosh Prasad Acharya, director-general of the Department of Archaeology (DoA) who was also involved in drafting of the project proposal.
He said that since the DoA is the nodal agency of all World Heritage Sites of Nepal, it is our responsibility to support the process of drafting it.
“Drafting of IMP was the requirement of the World Heritage Committee. And since the master plan of Kenji Tange was only a development plan, a separate plan was needed to draw strict lines for conservation of the sacred garden,” Acharya further said.
[KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 26, 2007, Mangsir 10, 2064 ]