Delhi heritage sites as monument mitras

Monument Mitra is the term coined for an entity which partners with the Government under the “Adopt a heritage” project. An innovative idea was mooted last year by Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of culture along with Archaeological Survey of India in this venture of its first kind. Looking from the prism of economic reforms, the idea is to make the private sector feel its importance in working together with Government to construct, develop, preserve and sustain various projects. Otherwise also, PPP mode is an accepted entity in respect of infrastructural development and in construction of the projects needed in this behalf. It may be recalled that Monument Mitra scheme was launched last year by President Ram Nath Kovind on World Tourism Day.
Prima facie , the idea looks pragmatic and should evoke no unfounded criticism. The current dispensation at the centre might have delivered not on many a front as per high expectations of the people but it cannot be doubted that this Government has been pursuing a policy of departure from inertial positions and outdated and obsolete procedures and to take a leap in overall development, has taken many bold decisions   and economic reforms, among other things laying stress on Public Private partnership in developmental projects and activities. The one under reference can be seen in that perspective.
Under this “Monument Mitra” scheme, as many as five heritage sites including the Red Fort are proposed to be covered. On April 9 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of India and the Dalmia Bharat Group appointing it as a Momument Mitra of the Red Fort. A similar understanding was reached with the Caper Travel Company appointing the firm as the Monument Mitra for Azim Khan’s Tomb at Mehroli –  Gurugram Road ; the Jamali Kamali heritage in Mehrauli Archaeological Park ; Rajon Ki Bavli and Moth Ki Masjid.
Gandikota Fort – the Grand Canyon of the South in Andhra Pradesh has also been adopted by the Dalmia Bharat Group by entering into an agreement with the Government, again on April9 this year. It is learnt that there are nearly 95 monuments and Tourist sites located across India which will have Monument Mitras . These sites are located in Karnataka, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir (Leh Palace), Maharashtra, UP, Goa, MP, Rajasthan, Haryana etc .
It is not possible for the Government to take adequate care of these valuable monuments for various administrative reasons in respect of maintenance of cleanliness, a surveillance system, development of surroundings and comfortable seating facilities and catering to the basic needs and amenities of the visitors. These “Mitras” or Companies have a sort of specialization in the sense that they are from the hospitality Industry, Tours and Travels Industry, Banking Industry and the like. As such much is expected from them from their expertise and experience .
This arrangement of Monument Mitras is initially for a period of five years after which, it will be duly reviewed in various ways and forms. The main aim behind the scheme being development of tourist amenities shall be instrumental in attracting more and more tourists to these monuments bringing in its wake, development of the respective areas and providing of employment and generating small commercial activities though on micro level .