Infrastructure conglomerate GMR and tobacco company ITC Ltd are currently bidding to adopt the Taj Mahal under the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project. The iconic tomb in Agra was not initially on the list of monuments to be adopted under the Adopt a Heritage scheme, because of its importance. However, it was added to the list in February and a seven-member Oversight and Vision Committee will now decide whom to hand over the bid to.
Adopt a Heritage Project:
On the occasion of “World Tourism Day” which is celebrated on September 27 annually, the government of India has launched “Adopt a Heritage” project.
The project plans to entrust heritage sites/monuments and other tourist sites to private sector companies, public sector companies and individuals for the development of tourist amenities. They would become ‘Monument Mitras’ and adopt the sites. The basic and advanced amenities of the tourist destinations would be provided by them. They would also look after the operations and the maintenance of the amenities.
Adopt a Heritage /Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan Project is a unique endeavour of Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which envisages developing monuments, heritage and tourist sites across India and making them tourist friendly to enhance their tourism potential and cultural importance, in a planned and phased manner.
The project primarily focuses on development and maintenance of world-class tourist infrastructure and amenities which includes basic civic amenities and advanced amenities like Cleanliness, Public Conveniences, Ease of access, secure environment, illumination and night viewing facilities for an overall inclusive tourist experience that will result in more footfall from both domestic and foreign tourists.
Successful bidders selected for adopting heritage sites/monuments by the Oversight and Vision Committee shall be called as Monument Mitras. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between Monument Mitra, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Archaeological Survey of India and the concerned stakeholder from the state.