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Is govt leasing out Parliament, Supreme Court to private parties, asks Congress

Saturday April 28, 2018 6:10 PM, News Network

Red Fort Delhi

New Delhi: In a scathing attack on the Modi government after reports that the iconic Red Fort has been leased out to Dalmia Group, Congress on Saturday asked if Parliament and Supreme Court buildings too would be handed over to private parties.

"After handing over the Red Fort to the Dalmia group, which is the next distinguished location that the BJP government will lease out to a private entity?", the Congress party said in a message posted on Twitter.

The coments by the Congress party was in response to the reports that Dalmia Bharat Limited has adopted Red Fort, under government’s scheme ‘Adopt a Heritage’ after the corporate group signed a contract with the Ministry of Tourism for next five years at a cost of Rs 25 crore.

According to a report by The Times of India, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed for leasing out the monument to Dalmia Bharat Limited, making it a part of ‘Monument Mitras’, a group of various private sector companies assigned to look after the operations and the maintenance of heritage site.

“We are very honoured to have adopted one of India’s top heritage sites. At Dalmia Bharat, we take pride in Indian culture and practise it in the workplace. For us, it is an extension of what we believe in. Adopting a Heritage Project is a unique endeavour by Ministry of Tourism which envisions in developing monuments, heritage and tourist sites across India to enhance their tourism potential and cultural importance", Puneet Dalmia, Managing Director of Dalmia Bharat Group, said after the MoU is signed.

Under ‘Adopt A Heritage’ scheme (Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan Project) that was launched on 27th September 2017 - which is observed as World Tourism Day, private, public sector companies and corporate individuals were invited to adopt heritage sites to take up their responsibility and to promote sustainable tourism.

The Red Fort is a historic fort in New Delhi. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years, until 1856. It is located in the center of Delhi and houses a number of museums. In addition to accommodating the emperors and their households, it was the ceremonial and political center of the Mughal state and the setting for events critically impacting the region.

Constructed in 1639 by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as the palace of his fortified capital Shahjahanabad, the Red Fort is named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone and is adjacent to the older Salimgarh Fort, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546.

Ever since the indpendence of India, important functions of national significance including the ceremonial Republic Day Parade on January 26 and Independence Day Speech by Prime Ministers are held inside the Red Fort.

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