New Delhi, April 30: Reacting to the allegations of leasing Red Fort, MoS culture and tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma said the monument was adopted by Dalmia Bharat Group to render value addition services, adding no profit activity will take place.
The President announced a scheme of Government of India on World Tourism Day 2017, on 27th September, that those interested in value addition to any services of the monuments can come forward. A lot of organisations came forward and some services of Red Fort have been given to Dalmia Group,” Sharma told news agency ANI , adding that no profit activity would take place.
This was done on 27 September 2017, so I don’t know why people are raising their fingers now. If they have any queries, they can ask,” he added.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister KJ Alphons has also rejected the allegations of Rs 25 crore contract with the Dalmia Bharat Group.
“None of the heritage monuments are being rebranded as implied under the ‘adopt a heritage’ scheme,” the Economics times quoted Alphons as saying.
“They are also not being ‘handed over’ or ‘leased out’ to private companies”.
He further said, “Companies are only expected to work for the upkeep of the monuments by creating some basic infrastructure like public toilets on the periphery under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes”.
As the reports, the Dalmia Bharat Group has adopted the Red Fort in a contract worth Rs 25 crore for a period of five years.
Clarifying this Alphons that the government is not paying or receiving any money from companies under the project.
“It sounds like we have given it to them on a contract worth Rs 25 crore. We have not spent or received any money on this. The companies are spending money under CSR”, he added.
Meanwhile, Dalmia group has also denied any contract of worth Rs 25 crore in the adoption of the historical monument.
Speaking to BBC, Dalmia group’s spokesperson Pooja Malhotra said ” the company has adopted this heritage for five years, under which the company will develop public facilities for tourists”
“It is wrong that the government is going to give the company some money to the company or the company”, She further stated.
On April 24, Dalmia Bharat Limited signed a memorandum of understanding with Ministry of Tourism for the adoption of Red Fort under the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project, making it the first corporate house to adopt the iconic monument.
Following which, opposition parties including the Congress, the CPM and the TMC, slammed the government for virtually handing over the symbol of India’s Independence to a private firm.
The Congress targetted Narendra Modi government asking which monuments the saffron party would “lease out to a private entity” next.
The party posted a poll on Twitter, After handing over the Red Fort to the Dalmia group, which is the next distinguished location that the BJP government will lease out to a private entity? Weather the Parliament, Lok Kalyan Marg or Supreme Court.