Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
The Dalmia Group has adopted the Red Fort in New Delhi for five years under the government’s 'Adopt a Heritage' scheme. The deal between the group, the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture, and the Archaeological Survey of India was signed on 9 April, but was made public only on 24 April.
The conglomerate reportedly won the Rs 25-crore deal over IndiGo Airline and GMR group’s bid to become the first corporate house to adopt a historical monument in India.
All Guns Blazing
Amid a controversy over an MoU with Dalmia Bharat limited vis-a-vis the Red Fort, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday, 28 April, questioned why the Centre could not even take care of the historic monument.
The Congress party slammed the Modi government’s move to allow a private corporation to adopt a heritage building.
However, Union Minister of Culture Mahesh Sharma told ANI that the scheme was announced by the president to encourage value addition to services in the monuments. “No profit activity would take place,” he asserted.
The party that doesn’t have Rs 5 crore to maintain the Red Fort how will that party run the nation? It is a very sad day for the country. The biggest symbol of the nation’s republic Independence struggle and freedom and unity is the Red Fort from where prime ministers have addressed the nation since the last 70 years. It’s a matter of shame for the Modi government.Randeep Surjewala, Congress spokesperson
Meanwhile, CPI(M) Leader Brinda Karat told Times Now that the government’s move was “extremely wrong.”
This is extremely wrong. these are not just monuments but symbols of the freedom struggle. This is the unfortunate situation of the government; never has it been involved in the freedom struggle so they don’t care about protecting and taking forward the cultures of the freedom struggle and that is why they are privatising.Brinda Karat, Leader, CPI(M), to Times Now
She added that a parliamentary standing committee had discussed this proposal several years ago and mooted the idea as it was decided that “although funds were needed, at no cost could the heritage sites be handed over to private corporations.”
Mahesh Sharma brushed off the controversy stating that he wondered why the Opposition was raising questions against the adoption now, when it was announced on 27 September 2017.
(With inputs from ANI and IANS)
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