New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Following a controversy over an MoU with Dalmia Bharat Limited vis-a-vis the Red Fort, the Ministry of Tourism on Saturday clarified that it does not involve a financial bid and is only for the development, operations and maintenance of tourism amenities.
“The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) envisages limited access to non-core areas and no handing over of the monument is involved. It is clarified that ‘The Adopt a Heritage’ is essentially a non-revenue generating project,” a Ministry statement said.
The Ministry said that “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan” is a collaborative effort between the Ministry, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), states and Union Territories which aims to develop synergy among all partners to effectively promote ‘responsible tourism’.
It is part of responsible tourism where the ‘Monument Mitra’ essentially spends his Corporate Social Responsibility funds for the upkeep and maintenance of the monument, it added.
Under the contract, the conglomerate will focus on providing basic amenities, including cleanliness, public conveniences, drinking water, ease of access for differently abled and senior citizens and others for both domestic and foreign tourists.
The Ministry said that under the ‘Monument Mitras’ project, it has approved 31 agencies so far to adopt a total of 95 monuments and tourism sites across India.
“So far, four MoUs have been signed between different stakeholders — for Mt. Stok Kangri in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, the trail to Gaumukh in Uttarakhand, the Red Fort in Delhi, and the Gandikota Fort in Andhra Pradesh,” it said.
A statement by Dalmia Bharat said on April 25 that the company joins ‘Monument Mitras’ along with other private sector companies to look after the operation and maintenance of this heritage site for five years, with a spend of over Rs 5 crore per annum.