Red fort ready for a new lease of life

In what turned out to be a surprising or bang on decision by the BJP led centre government, saying that the Dalmia-Bharat group has signed contract to adopt the most famous Mughal era monument the “red fort”, the government has taken this decision on Saturday which gave enough chance for the opposition to badmouth the government once again. The opposition strongly felt that this was a step by the government in direction of privatization whereas the government is dismissing all such allegation aimed against them saying that it is not a profit making activity but something that will give chance to the company to work for its betterment.

The Dalmia-Bharat group has signed a 5 year contract with the government by signing the memorandum of understanding (MoU)saying that the company will adopt the heritage site at the whooping cost of 25 crore and in return the company will look after the provision for basic amenities and infrastructure around the monument and they will further work for its is believed that the monument which holds a special place in the historicity of the capital is being visited by large number of tourists every year and to provide the best of both worlds to the visiting tourists and visitors the contract has been signed with the company.

The tourism ministry is very optimistic about the success of the project citing that the group is capable enough to look into the details with great precision. The ministry even confirmed that they will strictly follow every rule set out for the project and one such condition is that during the 5 year contract period no profit activity would take place. The ministry further clarified that under the adopt a heritage scheme which was announced by the president of India on the world tourism day, the Dalmia-Bharat group came forward and was given the rights to some services of red fort for its up gradation to a better level. They have been given the responsibility to provide basic amenities as creating toilets, provide drinking waters etc. within a period of six months.

But as is it is the case with India always the opposition created a lot of hue and cry over this decision some believe that the privatization of monuments is taking place and the country is not witnessing the Acche Din , some like Mamta Bannerjee are terming it to be very sad day in the history of our country as the government don’t have funds to take of its monuments and the much learned of the squad, Derek o brian too condemned this decision by the government.

If we continue to cry over small issues or if we won’t let the country progress then surely Acche din will be distant dreams. There are many countries in the world who follow these type conservation and restoration work. This is an internationally accepted practice and it is seen that the monuments get uplifted and gets new lease of life in a very structural way.

Italy, Spain, Egypt and Germany are few of the countries who took advantage of this scheme and the heritage sites are breathing new lives. A German company claims to have cleaned more than 100 monuments across the globe as its job.  

If a company is working on a no profit model to revamp the historic monuments to increase their price value then in my opinion it’s not a decision that should be regretted. The people in our country believe more in criticism rather than in constructive measures. Whatever be the case the contract has been signed and the work will begin soon we should hope that with whatever thought process the project was flagged off it should be successful and noteworthy and to call it the selling of red fort won’t be the right thing to say.

Surbhi Goel

Senior Writer

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