HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Govt seeks report from ASI on monuments

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 17, 2013
First Published: 22:52 IST(17/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:55 IST(18/2/2013)

Days after Hindustan Times highlighted the state of tourist facilities at 10 ticketed monuments protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in Delhi, the Union ministry of culture has asked the ASI director general to file a status report.


"Both the culture minister and the ministry of culture have sought a report about points raised by HT. The DG office has received letters from both the minister's office and that of culture ministry's office," sources in the ASI said. They said since Friday, the ASI staff at the Delhi circle has been busy compiling the status report. "Basically, a status report has been sought. We are not denying the lack or absence of facilities," said an official.

In a three-part series that started on Monday, HT had highlighted how tourists get a raw deal at 10-ticketed monuments, including the three world heritage sites, in Delhi.

The issues highlighted included availability of parking, drinking water, public conveniences and first-aid among other facilities.

Of the 174 ASI-protected monuments, only 10 are ticketed but paint a not-so-satisfactory picture when it comes to facilities for tourists. When HT contacted Pravin Srivastava, DG ASI, he said: "We are going to file the report to the ministry soon."

Sources said Chandresh Kumari Katoch, minister for culture, is keen on improving the facilities for tourists. "Hence, after the HT report, she chose direct personal intervention," sources added.

The monuments that were featured in the HT series were: the three World Heritage Sites, Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb and Qutab Minar and others such as Purana Qila, Tughlaqabad Fort, Safdarjung Tomb, Jantar Mantar,  Sultan Ghari Tomb and Firoz Shah Kotla.

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