Adopt a Heritage: Give the scheme a chance

The scheme is being launched on an experimental basis for 5 years. The private companies will not own the monuments. Nor can they sell or auction a part of the monuments

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media
user

Pragati Saxena

Concerns against the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme appear misplaced. Public-Private Partnerships are not new in this country, even in the field of culture. And when the government is inviting foreign companies to set up airlines in the country or even manufacture fighter jets, why the fuss over a private Indian company managing a historic monument?

What is more, the scheme is being launched on an experimental basis for five years. The private companies will not own the monuments. Nor can they sell or auction a part of the monuments or use a part of the premises for setting up a new enterprise. Then again, the scheme provides for oversight committees to ensure that the companies adhere to the guidelines and supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India. The government will be involved at every step. Finally, the companies, if the government is to be believed, are not being given access to the entire monument but only to a part of it. In any case a large part of the Red Fort is occupied by the military.

Last but not the least, the work culture and ethics of private companies can be relied upon to achieve more professional results and faster. They would be more flexible, more open to new ideas and technology and be competitive.

The scheme is clear enough. The responsibility of the corporate bodies will be to create new infrastructure, new amenities besides improving the existing facilities, making the monuments more visitor-friendly. Why indeed should one object to companies providing better audio guides, souvenir shops and cafeteria?

There seems little or no harm if the company is allowed to charge visitors for the semi-commercial activities, souvenirs and so on. They are being made responsible for signages and also for the branding of the monuments. Since the companies will be spending a part of their profits for the Corporate Social responsibility (CSR), they will undoubtedly seek the help of experts to implement the plan.

Maintenance of historical monuments is challenging. One can scarcely blame the ASI because visitors, mostly Indians, are no less responsible for vandalising the monuments with graffiti, engraving the walls and littering the premises. It is possible that involvement of private companies will make such visitors behave better.

Last but not the least, the work culture and ethics of private companies can be relied upon to achieve more professional results and faster. They would be more flexible, more open to new ideas and technology and be competitive.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines