Ahmedabad Current Affairs

Walled City of Ahmedabad designated as India’s first World Heritage City

The 600-year-old Walled City of Ahmedabad was declared World Heritage City by the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO after it met in Karlow, Poland. It is first Indian city get the honour.

The Walled City of Ahmedabad is located on the eastern banks of Sabarmati river. It presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs, as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods. It will be third city from the Indian subcontinent to enjoy this status along with Bhaktapur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka.

Background

The nomination of Ahmedabad was supported by about 20 countries including Turkey, Tunisia, Lebanon, Peru, Portugal, Croatia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Korea, Croatia, Cuba and Poland. Earlier, the committee also added Asmara (capital of Eritrea), added Hebron-Al Khalil Old Town (Palestine) and W-Arly-Pendjari Complex (Benin, Burkina Faso) to the list.

About Walled City of Ahmedabad

The Walled City of Ahmedabad was founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah I of Gujarat Sultanate in in 1411. It remained the capital of the Gujarat Sultanate and later important political and commercial centre of Gujarat.

It was established as a product of the Sultan’s ambitions to create a trading rival to the neighbouring Hindu trade centre of Asaval. Further, he made Ahmedabad centre of his own line of dynasty and replaced the old capital of Anhilvad Patan, located nearby.

Ahmed Shah I had laid the foundation of Bhadra Fort starting from Manek Burj, the first bastion of the city in 1411 which was completed in 1413. During Mughal rule, Bhadra Fort served as the seat of Governor of Gujarat

The richness of architecture present in Ahmedabad is enhanced by the cultural fusion of Hindu and Muslim elements. The city also holds rare distinction of being one of the oldest trading points in India and also centres of Indian freedom struggle under Mahatma Gandhi.

Spread over 5.43 square kilometres, the city now has approximate population of four lakh, living in century old wooden residences in around 600 pols or neighbourhoods. Today, despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, it still serves as the symbolic heart of metropolitan Ahmedabad.

About World Heritage Cities Programme

It is one of six thematic programmes formally approved and monitored by the WHC. It aims to assist state parties in the challenges of protecting and managing their urban heritage. The programme is structured along a two-way process (i) development of a theoretical framework for urban heritage conservation, and (ii) provision of technical assistance to States Parties for the implementation of new approaches and schemes.

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EU, France give 3.5 Million Euros as Grant to Curb Emissions in India

EU and France will give a grant of 3.5 million euros to three Indian cities- Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad as part of the EU’s commitment under the Paris Climate agreement to curb emissions and promote sustainability in these cities.

Salient Highlights

The grants have been provided to help India’s smart city programme under the ‘Moblise Your City’ (MYC) initiative.
India has become the first country to get benefits from the MYC initiative.
The MYC initiative is supported by the French and German government and also has financial support of the European Union (EU). The initiative is aimed at helping 100 cities across the world to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by promoting sustainable urban transport and sustainability in urban spaces.
MYC initiative was emphasised by the Indian and European leaders during Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to Europe.
Further it has been stated that more funds would be offered to India to carry forward its sustainable transport initiatives on the three smart cities.

Background

French Development Agency (AFD) has been associated with several projects in India and conservation of biodiversity. AFD, at present, is funding the Vijayawada, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Kochi and Nagpur metro rail projects.

AFD is a public financial institution of France whose mandate is to implement the policy defined by the French government. It is headquartered in Paris. It finances projects in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and the French overseas territories to promote living conditions for populations and economic growth in these regions.

France is the ninth largest foreign investor in India.

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