A controversy has broken out over the Dalmia Bharat Limited signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Tourism for the adoption of Red Fort monument under the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project.
Slamming the move, the Congress accused the government of ‘handing’ over the Red Fort to the Dalmia group and posed the following question to the people:
After handing over the Red Fort to the Dalmia group, which is the next distinguished location that the BJP government will lease out to a private entity? #IndiaSpeaks
— Congress (@INCIndia) April 28, 2018
Reacting on the issue, MoS Culture, Mahesh Sharma said, “President announced a scheme of GoI on World Tourism Day 2017, that those interested in value addition to any services of monuments can come forward. Some services of Red Fort has been given to Dalmia group. No profit activity will take place.”
President announced a scheme of GoI on World Tourism Day 2017, that those interested in value addition to any services of monuments can come forward. Some services of Red Fort has been given to Dalmia Group. No profit activity will take place: Mahesh Sharma, Union MoS Culture pic.twitter.com/7qYhh15fAd
— ANI (@ANI) April 28, 2018
With an estimate of over Rs 5 crores per year, Dalmia has joined ‘Monument Mitras’ from other various private sector companies to look after the operations and the maintenance of this heritage site for the next five years, as per reports.
The MoU is said to have been signed in the presence of Tourism Minister (independent charge) KJ Alphons, and other senior officials of Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’ (Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan Project) was launched by the President on September 27, 2017. Under it, private, public sector companies and corporate individuals are invited to adopt heritage sites and to take up responsibility for making them and promote sustainable tourism through conservation and development under their corporate social responsibility activities.
The first of its kind adoption enables Dalmia group to construct, landscape, illuminate and maintain activities related to provision and development of tourist amenities. This includes various basic and advanced amenities such as public conveniences, clean drinking water, cleanliness of the monument, accessibility for all, signage, cloakroom facilities, illumination and night viewing, surveillance system, tourist facilitation cum interpretation centre among others, PTI reported.