Taj Mahal has not found a place in the first list of 14 heritage sites to be adopted by private companies under the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme of the Tourism Ministry. The ministry had yesterday issued a list of 14 monuments in which private players had shown interest. These include Delhi’s Qutub Minar, Jantar Mantar, Purana Qila, Safdarjung’s Tomb and Agrasen ki Baoli; Odisha’s Sun Temple, Ratnagiri monuments and the Rajarani temple, the ruins of Hampi, Leh Palace, Anjanta and Ellora caves, and Mattancherry Place in Kochi.
The ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’ was launched on the World Tourism Day on September 27 by the president. Thereafter, the ministry invited private and public sector companies and corporate individuals to adopt the sites and to take up responsibility for making heritage and tourism more sustainable through conservation and development. As of now, the ministry has issued letters of intent to seven private entities to adopt the sites.
“So far we have not received any proposal for Taj Mahal. However, there are players who are considering the site, they have even been there. This process takes times and we had very little time. We are sure to get much more interest in such sites,” Secretary Tourism Rashmi Verma told reporters yesterday on being asked why Taj Mahal was not in the list. “Basically we have seen that companies are choosing heritage sites that are close them. So, Taj Mahal, I am sure will be adopted in the future,” he said.