Special force needed to protect monuments, says Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma

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New Delhi, Mar. 2 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) Dr. Mahesh Sharma, has in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, said that a committee of ministry has recommended creation of a special force to protect the nation’s monuments and art installations.

He informed the Upper House of Parliament today that the proposal is a part of a comprehensive security policy, and added that the proposed special force would also be equipped with relevant tools and electronic gadgets.

On outsourcing the maintenance of monuments, he informed members of the house that at present there was no such proposal to do so.

He said most monuments were under the operational maintenance of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

He also informed that the ASI has undertaken conservation and development of Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi in collaboration with Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).

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He said there are no plans to convert the 285 heritage sites in Maharashtra into tourist spots, but added that the government encourages public-private partnership (PPP) for conservation, restoration and environmental development of protected monuments and sites under the aegis of National Culture Fund (NCF).

As of now 14 PSUs have come forward to adopt 18 monuments under CSR.

For example, the monuments at Lodhi Garden are maintained with assistance from the Steel Authority of India Ltd., while the maintenance of the Sun Temple is funded by the Indian Oil Foundation. (ANI)

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