Meet Dalmia Bharat Group, who will maintain Red Fort from now

PM Modi at the Red Fort

PM Modi at the Red Fort

The government's decision to hand over Delhi's historic Red Fort to a leading corporate group for its upkeep under the "Adopt a Heritage" scheme has kicked up a political storm. The government, however, insisted that it was not for profits. "Further, two MoUs were also signed for Red Fort, Delhi and Gandikota fort, Andhra Pradesh between Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Archaeological Survey of India and Dalmia Bharat Limited", read a government statement. "The MoU clearly states that in case of any violation of the laid down tenets, the MoU will stand revoked and that the ASI can take relevant action against the concerned party", Verma said. They might put up signs outside to say that they have developed the amenities.

The Congress attack remained fixed just on Red Fort adoption as revealed by the Tourism Ministry on Wednesday while the ministry has rather awarded Letters of Intent to 24 entities for 76 monuments under "Adopt the Heritage" scheme that includes Taj Mahal in Agra, Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan and Mehrauli Archaeological Park and Gol Gumbad in Delhi. This will be Modi's last Independence Day speech for his ongoing tenure. Why should it be leased out?

Historian and author William Dalrymple, who has written extensively on Mughals, said, "There must be better ways of maintaining a nation's greatest monuments than by auctioning them off to a corporate house".

"It is clarified that "Adopt a Heritage" is essentially a non-revenue generating project", the ministry said. "You may have the MacDonalds Stadium but you certainly don't have the MacDonalds Lincoln Memorial". Tourism Minister KJ Alphonse said that these two companies will now preserve these heritages.

The Dalmia Bharat Group, under the said MoU, would maintain the monument and build basic infrastructure around it and has committed a sum of Rs 25 crore for the goal over a period spanning five years. The Dalmia Bharat group's top officials said they have plans to complete night illumination before handing it over temporarily for the Prime Minister's Independence Day address.

What will the pvt party do at red fort?

Strongly reacting to the deal, the Congress accused the Government of "privatising" India's heritage by offering it for adoption to the corporate group for next five years at a cost of Rs 25 crore. As community assets, we want corporates, schools, public or private individuals to take care of the monuments and to take pride in them. Dalmia group beat IndiGo and the GMR group to win the contract.

As of March this year, 31 prospective "monument mitras" or "friends of heritage sites" have been shortlisted by an oversight and vision committee for developing tourist-friendly amenities at 95 sites including monuments, heritage and other tourist spots.

The President announced a scheme of the government on World Tourism Day, 2017 that those interested in value addition to any services of monuments can come forward.

The Dalmia Bharat group will charge people visiting the Red Fort after getting specific clearances from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism.

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