The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Public participation for Heritage Conservation and Management - work in progress
As the PIL continues, there is undoubtedly a noticeable sharp decline in new illegal constructions in the heritage zone of Varanasi and ample public debate has taken place on the kinds of laws that should be designed and enforced in Varanasi in order to balance heritage protection and economic development.
The local community is increasingly demanding that it is consulted on programmes and plans for its city and that the VDA, the Varanasi Municipal Authority and other government agencies respect the needs and hopes of local residents and listen to people's voices brought across by civil society organisations. The press is also increasingly demanding that the existing laws are equally imposed upon all and not only on those that don't have enough resources to obtain privileged treatment form the local authorities; and if there is a need to change existing laws, that these are changed equally for all and communities are involved in policy making.
The Kautilya Society also has submitted draft heritage legislations to the High Court, demanding that the VDA constitute a Heritage Conservation Committee that develops guidelines and plans for the heritage zone and proposes modifications in existing laws in consultation with the citizens of the city.
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