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[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ew Delhi: In response to certain reports appearing in the media regarding Adopt a Heritage Scheme, the Ministry of Tourism has clarified that the “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan”, is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and State/UTs Governments. The Project aims to develop synergy among all partners to effectively promote “responsible tourism”.
It aims to involve public sector companies, private sector companies and corporate citizens/individuals to take up the responsibility for making our heritage and tourism more sustainable through development, operation and maintenance of world-class tourist infrastructure and amenities at ASI/ State heritage sites and other important tourist sites in India.
They would become ‘Monument Mitras’ through the innovative concept of “Vision Bidding”,where the agency with best vision for the heritage site will be given an opportunity to associate pride with their CSR activities. They would also get limited visibility in the premises and the Incredible India website. The aim is enhancement of tourist experience and promotion of the incredible heritage sites to bring them on tourism map.
The project primarily focusses on providing basic amenities that includes cleanliness, public conveniences, drinking water, ease of access for differently abled and senior citizens, standardized signage, illumination and advanced amenities such as surveillance system, night viewing facilities, tourism facilitation center and an enhanced tourism experience that will result in more tourist footfalls, both domestic and foreign.
The priority areas of Programme are listed as under:
- Developing basic tourism infrastructure;
- Promoting cultural and heritage value of the country to generate livelihoods in the identified regions;
- Enhancing the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world-class infrastructure at the heritage monument sites;
- Creating employment through active involvement of local communities;
- Harnessing tourism potential for its effects in employment generation and economic development;
Developing sustainable tourism infrastructure and ensuring proper Operations and Maintenance therein.
The response to the project has been very encouraging as the agencies who have come forward for adoption includes not only public and private industry/individuals but also schools and law firms. Under the project a total of 31 agencies, (referred as Monument Mitras) have been approved, so far, to adopt a total of 95 Monuments/ tourist sites located across India.
So far, four MoU’s have been signed between Ministry of Tourism, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir for Mt. Stok Kangri, Ladakh, J & K and Ministry of Tourism, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), Uttarakhand Government for Trail to Gaumukh in Uttarakhand, and also between Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Archaeological Survey of India and Dalmia Bharat Limited for Red Fort, Delhi and Gandikota fort in Andhra Pradesh.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed for ‘Red Fort ‘is ‘only’ for the development, operations and maintenance of tourism amenities in and around Red Fort. It envisages limited ‘access’ of non-core areas and ‘no handing over of monument’ is involved.
It is clarified that ‘The Adopt a Heritage’ is essentially a non-revenue generating project. It is part of responsible tourism where the ‘Monument Mitra’ essentially spends his CSR funds for upkeep and maintenance etc., and gets limited visibility. The agency was selected on the basis of unique concept of vision bid and no financial bid is involved.
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