The tourism ministry has clarified that its project does not involve a financial bid and is only for the development and maintenance of tourism amenities.(Virendra Singh Gosain / HT Archive)
The tourism ministry has clarified that its project does not involve a financial bid and is only for the development and maintenance of tourism amenities.(Virendra Singh Gosain / HT Archive)

Allowing private firm to maintain Red Fort has global parallels, say experts

The ministry has clarified that its project does not involve a financial bid and is only for the development and maintenance of tourism amenities.
By HT Correspondents | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 30, 2018 06:55 PM IST

Even as a controversy rages over the government signing a memorandum of understanding with the Dalmia group for the maintenance of the Red Fort, experts say it is common for corporates to sponsor the development and upkeep of cultural heritages across the world.

Opposition parties have questioned the government’s move to allow the private entity to maintain the iconic Red Fort after the corporate house signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) under the tourism ministry’s ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project.

The ministry has clarified that its project does not involve a financial bid and is only for the development and maintenance of tourism amenities.

Consumer products and cigarette company ITC Ltd and a company that is part of infrastructure conglomerate GMR Group are also in the race to adopt India’s most iconic monument, the Taj Mahal, under the government’s ‘Adopt A Heritage’ scheme.

Many European countries are known to involve private companies and societies for the maintenance as part of efforts to promote tourism.

“The scheme that the ministry of tourism has started is an internationally accepted practice where the conservation and restoration work remains with the expert body of the government as it involves scientific work and maintenance and operation of basic facilities are given to private players to enhance the overall experience of visitors,” said Rajeev Kohli, former senior vice president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators.

Italy has long sought sponsors to fund the restoration and maintenance of its archaeological sites, statues and ancient palazzos. The Colosseum went through a round of restoration recently after it was sponsored by a luxury hotel located nearby.

The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Florence’s Uffizi gallery and several other heritage sites have also undergone facelifts with help from business houses and the fashion industry in their respective countries.

Rakesh Mathur, former president, ITC Welcome Heritage Hotels Group and Founder of Eco Tourism Society of India, said: “In some countries, boards are constituted or institutions are formed to control the destiny of the heritage. They look after all the aspects of the heritage. So I think it’s a very good initiative of the government to involve private players.”

In Egypt, a pilot project was launched to upgrade buildings in Cairo’s heritage areas. A bank from Kuwait was reported to have provided $3 million to draw up a detailed maps of the country’s ancient sites.

Another tourism expert, SK Mishra, who was former secretary in the ministry of tourism, said: “These private companies are adding to the infrastructure, landscaping, other facilities, etc.”

A German company that makes power-washing equipment also claims to have cleaned more than 100 monuments across the globe as part of its cultural sponsorship programme.

“As cleaning specialists we have been actively involved in supporting the preservation of historical monuments and buildings for over 30 years,” says the website of the company, Kärcher.

The company recently cleaned Indonesia’s national monument, an obelisk named Monas, for the first time in more than two decades. It has also power-washed Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty in the United States.

Under the agreement signed for the ‘adoption’ of the Red Fort on April 24, the Dalmia Bharat group has agreed to make available certain basic amenities at the monument within six months.

These include providing drinking water kiosks, street furniture-like benches and signages to guide the visitors, according to the ministry.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is preparing to mortgage India’s symbol of Independence, the Red Fort to corporates. Does Modiji or BJP even understand the importance of Lal Quila?” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

Responding to the allegations, minister of state for tourism KJ Alphons said that under the scheme started last year, the ministry is looking at public participation to develop heritage monuments.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Army soldiers take part in the rehearsal for the Republic Day parade during the early morning, in New Delhi, India, January 18, 2021.(REUTERS)
Army soldiers take part in the rehearsal for the Republic Day parade during the early morning, in New Delhi, India, January 18, 2021.(REUTERS)

Security forces carry out Republic Day parade rehearsals

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:27 AM IST
Group of special forces, along with senior Indian Army and paramilitary personnel, reached Rajpath at 5 am and practice till 10 am.
Close
Incident was reported at around 7:40am as the train departed from platform number 9.(ANI)
Incident was reported at around 7:40am as the train departed from platform number 9.(ANI)

Bihar bound Shaheed Express derail at Charbagh Railway Station; no casualties

PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:15 AM IST
“The train had arrived at around 7:20am and it got derailed as it began to roll out of the station. No casualties have been reported since the train was moving at a lower speed,” said Saumitra Yadav, superintendent of police (SP), Railways.
Close
Representational image.
Representational image.

Supreme Court to rule on plea for stay on farmers’ tractor rally today

PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:11 AM IST
The court will also take up an affidavit filed by a farmers’ union demanding the removal of the three members from the committee formed to hear their concerns
Close
A healthcare worker enters data into the Co-WIN app. (REUTERS)
A healthcare worker enters data into the Co-WIN app. (REUTERS)

Bengal: Co-WIN hurdle continues to plague Covid vaccination drive

PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:37 AM IST
On the first day, the vaccination drive had hit a snag after the app slowed down because of glitches
Close
Health staff of a hospital in Maharashtra for Covid-19 vaccination drive on Sunday.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Health staff of a hospital in Maharashtra for Covid-19 vaccination drive on Sunday.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

India records 13,788 new Covid-19 cases, 145 deaths in 24 hours

By hindustantimes.com, HT Correspondent | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:53 AM IST
India has been witnessing a fall in the daily as well as weekly fall in the number of Covid-19 cases.
Close
Representational Image.
Representational Image.

Adverse events post Covid-19 immunisation: Here’s all you need to know

UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:07 AM IST
Close to 250,000 healthcare workers were immunised on day one of India’s vaccination drive, of which 447 suffered adverse event following immunisation
Close
Representational Image.
Representational Image.

Man arrested for rape of 13-year-old mute girl in Bihar village

By Sandeep Bhaskar
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:04 AM IST
The accused reportedly took the girl to a sugarcane field in his village on January 15 where he sexually assaulted her
Close
Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub in Tandav..
Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub in Tandav..

News updates from HT: FIR registered in against makers of web series 'Tandav'

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:00 AM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
In 98 cases, adverse events following immunization (AEFI) were reported out of the 22,643 health workers who received vaccine shots.(HT Photo )
In 98 cases, adverse events following immunization (AEFI) were reported out of the 22,643 health workers who received vaccine shots.(HT Photo )

Women health workers take lead over men in Covid vaccination in UP

PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 08:57 AM IST
According to the data of the first round Covid vaccination compiled by the health and family welfare department, 71% healthcare workers got Covid vaccination.
Close
Representative Image(HT PHOTO.)
Representative Image(HT PHOTO.)

15% dip in India’s Covid-19 cases in week vaccination drive commenced

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 08:53 AM IST
Last week, India registered a total of 107,701 new Covid-19 cases as against 126,319 from the week before, as per the Union health ministry’s numbers.
Close
Deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia took to Twitter and said he is glad that the schools are opening in Delhi.(ANI file photo)
Deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia took to Twitter and said he is glad that the schools are opening in Delhi.(ANI file photo)

Glad that schools are opening in Delhi today, tweets Manish Sisodia

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:11 AM IST
The move to reopen schools in Delhi comes as the positivity rate in the national capital continues to hover below 1 per cent and the authorities declaring control over the disease outbreak by strict testing and isolating method.
Close
Representational Image. (HT photo)
Representational Image. (HT photo)

UP: Healthcare workers who haven’t got Covid vaccine yet can do so on Jan 22

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 08:41 AM IST
The health department had registered 31,700 workers on CoWIN portal for the first round of the vaccination, of which 22,643 workers came at 317 vaccination centres across UP
Close
A medic administers the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a beneficiary in the presence of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on January 16. (PTI)
A medic administers the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a beneficiary in the presence of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on January 16. (PTI)

Covid vaccination drive to continue as per priority: UP CM Adityanath

PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 08:40 AM IST
Though the state has witnessed a significant drop in Covid-19 cases, utmost alertness should be maintained, he said
Close
Bengali actress Saayoni Ghosh(Twitter.com/@sayani06)
Bengali actress Saayoni Ghosh(Twitter.com/@sayani06)

Senior BJP leader files complaint against Bengali actor for 'hurting sentiments'

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 08:27 AM IST
Bengali actress Saayoni Ghosh, however, claimed the meme dates back to February 2015, and was not posted by her, but an act of mischief by someone who hacked her account then.
Close
The complex would come up on five acres of land allotted to the board following the November 2019 order of the Supreme Court in the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid case.((Special arrangement))
The complex would come up on five acres of land allotted to the board following the November 2019 order of the Supreme Court in the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid case.((Special arrangement))

Ayodhya mosque project kicks off on R-Day with raising flag, planting trees

PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 08:23 AM IST
The area would be having plants and trees from all different geographical regions of India and from different parts of the world in order to create awareness for imminent threat of climate change.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP