7 June 2019
YANGON, June 7 (Xinhua) — Myanmar is deliberating to designate the country’s Bagan-Nyaung U archaeological zone as smoke-free areas, according to Nyaung U district General Administration Department Friday.
The 29 smoke-free areas to be implemented in Bagan-Nyaung U cultural heritage zone, that meet self norms, will begin in July, said U Soe Tint, an administrator of the district.
The Bagan ancient cultural zone, which possesses unique cultural value and architecture with over 3,000 to 4,000 ancient pagodas and religious edifices viewable in one place, has been in existence for more than 1,000 years, standing as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Myanmar.
The planned smoke-free areas in Bagan-Nyaung U, include 17 pagodas, three state schools, Information Center, Nyaung U airport, Bagan archaeological Museum and Institute, Nyaung U Hospital, Nyaunglatphtkan Hill and Sulamani Sunset Hill.
Myanmar has been striving since 1996 for the inclusion of Bagan, an ancient city in central Mandalay region, in 2019 World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) but failed for not meeting certain standards or requirements. But Myanmar was applying again in 2018.
The upcoming 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan in July will decide if Bagan will be included in the list.
Myanmar has also been working with the UNESCO in an effort to make Bagan to meet the standard to be so enlisted.
Bagan was hit by a 6.8-magnitude earthquake on Aug. 24, 2016, damaging 389 pagodas and emergency restoration work on the damaged pagodas were carried out rapidly after the disaster under a four-year plan.