Union Minister of State for Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma on Saturday justified the move to allow corporate enterprises and individuals to adopt national heritage monuments under 'adopt the heritage scheme'.
He was reacting to Congress' objection to 'Adopt a Heritage Policy' of the government. The Congress party said the Centre should clarify if there's a shortage of funds with Ministry of Tourism and Archeological Survey of India.
Mahesh Sharma said, " We haven't leased out our monuments to private entities. This is a call made by President of India last year for the betterment of the monuments."
President announced a scheme of GoI on World Tourism Day 2017, that those interested in value addition to any services of monuments can come forward. Some services of Red Fort has been given to Dalmia Group. No profit activity will take place: Mahesh Sharma, Union MoS Culture pic.twitter.com/7qYhh15fAd— ANI (@ANI) April 28, 2018
"There has been no commercial transaction. There will be no financial gains for the NGO's or entities. Only support services have been given to the organisations. No financial collection or correction work has been given to these organisations," Sharma said.
He reiterated that there was no shortage of funds to maintain these monuments. "We have taken steps they could not take in 60 years. They (Congress) should feel ashamed, " he added.
Dalmia Bharat group became the first corporate house in Indian history to adopt a historical monument, i.e. Red Fort. It won the contract by beating IndiGo and GMR group to bag one of the most prestigious contracts under the Indian government's 'adopt a heritage' scheme.
This project is a key initiative of Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archeological Survey of India (ASI), to develop the heritage sites/monuments and making them tourist-friendly to enhance the tourism potential and their cultural importance in a planned and phased manner.