Another blow for Taj Mahal: Monument doesn't feature in list of 14 sites part of Centre's 'Adopt a Heritage' scheme
The Taj Mahal has suffered another blow at the hands of the Centre, with the government choosing to not name the historic monument in its first list of 14 heritage sites to be named under the 'Adopt a Heritage' scheme
New Delhi: The Taj Mahal has suffered another blow at the hands of the Centre, with the government choosing to not name the historic monument in its first list of 14 heritage sites to be named under the 'Adopt a Heritage' scheme. The heritage sites were to be adopted by private companies in the tourism ministry's idea, but the Taj Mahal will not be one of them.
The ministry had issued a list of 14 monuments on Thursday, 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 World Tourism Day on 27 September by President Ram Nath Kovind. 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," tourism secretary Rashmi Verma told reporters on being asked why Taj Mahal was not in the list.
"Basically, we have seen that companies are choosing heritage sites that are close to them. Taj Mahal, I am sure, will be adopted in the future," he said.
In what is being seen as a recognition of the heavy traffic generated on its routes to the Indian subcontinent, the flagship carrier of the East African nation of Ethiopia has named its newest Boeing 787 Dreamliner after India's most famous monument.
The $1 billion replica of the Taj Mahal that the developers are planning to build in Dubai will be four times bigger than the original monument.