Bharat Dalmia Group adopts Red Fort, Congress objects

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The Dalmia Bharat Group, under the said MoU, would maintain the monument and build basic infrastructure around it and has committed a sum of Rs 25 crore for the objective over a period spanning five years. A sign would also be deployed at Red Fort to show that it has been adopted by Dalmia Bharat Limited.

Under "Adopt A Heritage" scheme (Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan Project) that was launched on World Tourism Day (27th September 2017); private, public sector companies and corporate individuals are invited to adopt heritage sites to take up their responsibility and to promote sustainable tourism. Dalmia Group is contemplating ways of developing Red Fort to make it popular among tourists. It went on to ask the government that "major corporate may be compelled to adopt heritage sites". "The government should reverse its decision of privatising the Red Fort", CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted. Does the BJP understand that every brick and mortar that every particle of dust in the Red Fort symbolizes the sacrifice of millions and millions of our country men who fought the Britishers and before that many other forces. Dalmia Group has adopted it under the "Adopt a Heritage" policy of the Narendra Modi government. Congress leader Pawan Khera said, "A monument where the flag fly's high, is being handed over to a private firm". While the Dalmia group has bagged Red Fort along with Gandikota Fort in Andhra Pradesh, it is also said to be in the final stages of bagging the contract for the Sun Temple in Konark. Red Fort being 'sold '? "Why can't the government take care of our historic Lal Qila?" Why should it be leased out?

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee termed the decision a dark day in India's history.

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The group will be able to use its branding on signages, souvenirs and during cultural events. As Chairman Parliament Cmtee of Transport Tourism & Culture, can say matter was still being "discussed".

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

"I want to ask the Congress what they did for the past 70 years". All the monuments and facilities around them are in bad shape. Can you barter away the symbol of your nationhood for sake of Rs 5 crore to a corporate sector entity?"Calling it a "sad letter day for India", he said, "Prime Minister and Modi Government are now bartering away the symbol of freedom movement like Red Fort to his corporate friends for maintenance".

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Under the project, 31 agencies referred as "Monument Mitras" have been approved so far to adopt 95 monuments and tourist sites located across India.

The centre was bombarded by criticism from the opposition on Saturday for letting a private company adopt the iconic Red Fort in the national capital. Meanwhile, GMR Sports and ITC are the finalists in the race to adopt the Taj Mahal.

Former Union culture secretary Jawhar Sircar told The Telegraph: "The government can always try an experiment but it is only the ASI that is mandated under law to preserve our irreplaceable monuments". "No profit activity will take place", Sharma said.

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