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Opposition decries leasing of Red Fort to Dalmia group

April 29, 2018


NEW DELHI :  Opposition parties today questioned the government s move to allow a private entity to maintain the iconic Red Fort, days after a corporate house signed an agreement with the tourism ministry under its  Adopt a Heritage  project.

The Congress on Saturday took potshots at the BJP over The Dalmia Bharat Group signing an agreement with the tourism ministry.

It posted a poll on Twitter, asking netizens which monument would be next “leased out to a private entity” in the country.

The Dalmia Bharat Group, under the memorandum of understanding, would maintain the 17th-century monument and build basic infrastructure around it and has committed a sum of Rs 25 crore for the purpose over a period spanning five years.

Sources in the know claimed the Dalmia Bharat group bagged the contract for Rs 25 crore after beating IndiGo Airlines and GMR group.

“The President announced a government scheme on World Tourism Day in 2017 that those interested in value addition to any service of monuments can come forward. Some services of the Red Fort has been given to Dalmia Group. No profit activity will take place,” Union tourism and culture minister Mahesh Sharma said.

Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “Why can t the Government even take care of our historic Lal Qila? Red Fort is a symbol of our nation. It is where India s flag is hoisted on Independence Day. Why should it be leased out? Sad and dark day in our history.”

In a statement, the tourism ministry said the agreement signed for  Red Fort  is only  for the development, operations and maintenance of tourism amenities in and around the monument and envisages limited  access  of non-core areas, the tourism ministry said today in response to allegations of the opposition parties that the Red Fort was being handed over to private entities.

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