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Ruckus Over Construction at Golestan Sites

Ruckus Over Construction at Golestan SitesRuckus Over Construction at Golestan Sites

Cultural heritage activists and experts have complained against a bill on urban construction passed by Article-5 Commission of Golestan Governorate, which is likely to threaten the historical texture of the province. 

Based on the bill, municipalities are not required to acquire construction permits from Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization and the latter is only tasked with notifying its regulations to the municipality,  Mehr News Agency reported. 

Concerns rose among heritage experts over the historical texture of Golestan Province, the first valuable urban site inscribed on the National Heritage List in 1931. 

Elham Raoufifar, a heritage expert, said as per the laws of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, ICHHTO is responsible for making the final decision on urban construction plans in historical areas, especially the sites inscribed on the National Heritage List.Nevertheless, Reza Morovati, Golestan Governorate's deputy for construction, assured that vulnerable historical sites are excluded from the bill and any urban development project therein should be implemented under the direct monitoring of ICHHTO.

"The current bill will not undermine the authority of ICHHTO over urban construction. The organization will continue to define buffer zones for historical sites and set regulations for construction projects, and municipalities are to adhere to the rules," he added. 

According to Morovati, ICHHTO could legally pursue any illegal activity on historical sites. Reportedly, the historical texture of Gorgan, the capital of Golestan Province, is in a poor condition. 

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