Majuli (Assam): The delay for the World Heritage Site tag to Majuli river island in Assam was due to non receipt of required documents from the central government, UNESCO-Country Director Shiregu Aoyogi said Wednesday.
"Majuli has the prospect for selection for World Heritage Site status. But the Government of India has to take the initiative through proper channel with proper documents", the UNESCO Director and Representative, in charge of India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan told PTI here.
"Prospects and possibility is open for this beautiful island, its people, its culture its ecology to be in the World Heritage Site list. The Government of India needs to give more interest, which is missing over the issue", Aoyogi said.
"I met the Assam Chief Minister (Tarun Gogoi) recently at Guwahati and he showed keen interest in preserving Majuli?s heritage. Assam has enough potential to promote its cultural and tourism sector. The Chief Minister has shown great interest to promote the sector", the UNESCO Director added.
Majuli island in the River Brahmaputra in Jorhat district is the largest riverine island in the world where the 15th-16th century saint and fountain head of Assamese culture Srimanta Sankardeva first established a Satra (Vaishnavite monastery).
Majuli had a total area of 1,250 square kilometres, but was losing landmass significantly to erosion and has been reduced to only 421.65 sq km in 2001.
Aoyogi also went on an elephant safari at World Heritage Site Kaziranga National Park in upper Assam yesterday and held a meeting with senior officials from KNP, tourism and forest departments as well as district administration.
He discussed the recent rhino killings by poachers in the Park and also took stock of its adjacent areas and the hurdles faced by the KNP authority to save the UNESCO declared World Heritage Site.