A list of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) monuments are up for adoption under the tourism ministry’s new initiative to better preserve and maintain these national assets. Is it time to take responsibility to protect your monuments? By Shikha Pushpan
The Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is all set to get a major facelift after the iconic monument was adopted by Dalmia Bharat Limited under the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project by the Tourism Ministry.
In a first of its kind adoption, the cement major will now look after the operation and maintenance of the monument for a period of five years. The project means a gamut of new tourist amenities—app-based multi-lingual audio guide, free wi-fi, digital interactive kiosk, facilitation of night visits to the monuments, braille signage, wheelchair availability, toilets for the differently-abled, among other things.
The Gandikota Fort in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa District too was adopted by the Dalmia group. On the occasion, Puneet Dalmia, Managing Director, Dalmia Bharat Group said, “We are very honoured to have adopted one of India’s top heritage sites. Adopting a Heritage Project is a unique endeavour by the Ministry of Tourism which it envisions in developing monuments, heritage and tourist sites across India to enhance their tourism potential and cultural importance. We look forward to adding value to India’s heritage sites in every possible manner.”
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has invited individuals and public and private sector companies to adopt a total of 62 monuments, including the Taj Mahal, Chittorgarh Fort, Mehrauli Archeological Park and Gol Gumbad. Reports suggest that GMR Sports, a part of infrastructure conglomerate GMR Group, and consumer products and cigarette company ITC Ltd have expressed interest in adopting the Taj Mahal.