Tourists can now hope for better facilities like modern toilets, shaded parking and better last-mile connectivity at key monument sites as the centre has roped in the corporate sector for their facelift and upkeep.
To start with, oil and gas major ONGC will 'adopt' six top monuments under a "Clean India" initiative. Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Golkonda Fort, Mahabalipuram and the Ellora and Elephanta caves will be covered under this venture.
"We want more companies, both public and private sector, to join this effort to provide sanitation facilities, increase the greenery and improve the last-mile connectivity. This will also help in better tourist inflow," union tourism minister Cheeranjivi told HT.
Corporate help will also be taken for the maintenance of the protected structures. "ONGC will also provide for the restoration and upkeep of the monuments with the help of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI)," Cheeranjivi added.
He recalled that during a meeting, his Vietnamese counterpart had mentioned that he wished to frequently visit Indian Buddhist sites but flagged concerns about hygiene and some logistical issues.