Opposition decries leasing of Red Fort to Dalmia group

30 April, 2018, 11:48 | Author: Mable Gonzales
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As community assets, we want corporates, schools, public or private individuals to take care of the monuments and to take pride in them.

Mahesh Sharma said, " We haven't leased out our monuments to private entities. IndiGo Airlines and the GMR group were also reportedly in the race to bag the project.

"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". Dalmia Group is contemplating ways of developing Red Fort to make it popular among tourists. Speaking to TOI, tourism minister KJ Alphons said, "The adoption scheme is aimed at involving communities in the upkeep of heritage monuments. @KJAlphons @tourismgoi @DalmiaBharat Becomes the first corporate to sign a MOU under the Government's "Adopt a Heritage" project". As per the agreement, the corporate giant would build basic infrastructure around the monument and maintain it. CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury called for not halting "privatisation" of India's Heritage but also reversal of government's decision.

Also, a proper sign would be installed on the historical monument to let people know that it has been adopted by the Dalmia Bharati Group. "Does Modiji or BJP even understand the importance of Lal Quila?"

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera cast aspersions on the government's commitment to the idea of India and the history of India.

Tasks that need to be completed within two years include setting up exhibitions in cells under the Asad Burj, virtual reality-based monument interpretation, building night trails and structural illumination of the entire Red Fort. This will be Modi's last Independence Day speech for his ongoing tenure. Why should it be leased out? West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called it a "sad and dark day" in the country's history.

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The contract not only focuses on improving the quality of experience visitors would have by going to Red Fort but it also provides substantial visibility to the Dalmia Group as a brand. The group would be able to use the "Dalmia" brand name on souvenirs, banners during cultural events and all signage that it would install across Red Fort's precincts. "In fact, it will be allowed to proclaim in a prominently displayed sign that the Red Fort has been adopted by Dalmia Bharat Limited", the Left party said. The basic and advanced amenities of the tourist destinations would be provided by them.

"If they are spending money, there is nothing wrong in taking credit for it", he said.

"We have to start work within 30 days and have to own it for five years initially. How can they hand it over to someone else just like that?" "In some places, there were no facilities at all", he said.

The tourism ministry has said that 31 firms, including Dalmia Bharat, have so far been approved to adopt 95 monuments and tourist sites with their corporate social responsibility funds.

Several opposition parties, including the Congress, the CPM and the TMC, have criticised the government for virtually handing over the symbol of India's Independence to a private party. The contract for the Taj has been won by GMR Sports and ITC Limited. "Why is government putting at stake so much just in order to create some money?" After this, the group will again take the Red Fort in their hands.

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