Call to Protect Qom’s Heritage

Call to Protect Qom’s HeritageCall to Protect Qom’s Heritage

Lack of laws protecting the surrounding areas of operational and defunct tourist lodges is becoming a problem in Qom Province, ISNA quoted the director of the provincial Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) Isa Rezaei as saying.

According to Rezaei, the absence of relevant laws forced the organization to issue a construction permit a few months ago, allowing a dairy farm to be built less than 1 km away from Pasangan Caravansary -- a Safavid-era structure which is also registered on the National Heritage List.

This came a few short months after the governorate of Qom had issued a permit for a holiday resort to be established in the vicinity of the caravansary.

“A while ago the provincial office of the ministry of agriculture jihad gave away a piece of land to an investor to build a dairy farm, but the investor set up walls around the land and left it to its own devices,” Rezaei said, adding that since the beginning of the year (March 21), efforts to finish the dairy farm have resumed.

Following the ICHHTO’s objection, the governorate asked the organization to cite a law to support their objection. “But we were unable to cite any laws because there are none.”

Rezaei believes lodging facilities deserve the same protection heritage sites receive, in order to prevent excessive construction which not only mar the landscape, but can also have environmental impacts.

“This can only be detrimental to the touristic value of the area,” he said.

“The provincial tourism working group will soon convene for the first time this year, and we plan to discuss the matter and, hopefully, pass a resolution to protect Qom’s tourist facilities,” he asserted, adding that he hopes the decisions made in Qom will be extended to other provinces.