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CSR in 2019: Corporates could be compelled to adopt heritage sites

View of Khajuraho temple from outside
The Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Culture has recommended that under CSR, major corporates may be ‘compelled’ to adopt heritage sites for their upkeep. It said that if proper values regarding the indigenous people and environment are followed and road and rail network is put in place, the industry may grow in a healthy way.
The Committee said in a report tabled in the Rajya Sabha that many of the key monuments, even those under the control of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), are without basic amenities like clean drinking water, toilet, interpretation centres, cleanliness, etc. The government has taken an initiative called ‘Adopt a Heritage’ to address deficiencies in the sector.
While suggesting that corporates adopt heritage sites, the committee said detailed plans for improvement of infrastructure and basic amenities have to be laid down by the Ministry or government agencies and it should not be left at the discretion of the organisation which is adopting the heritage sites.
Experience and experimentation in the initial two or three projects will make all the difference in planning for future projects that the ministry will take up for development, said the report. The committee also feels that to make a project a world-class experience, benchmarking is a must.
The Tourism Ministry said the project ‘Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ is voluntary in nature. The project is a collaborate effort between the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and ASI and State/UT governments and aims at developing synergy amongst all partners to effectively promote responsible tourism.
It aims to involve public sector companies, private sector companies and corporate citizens/individuals to take up the responsibility for making our heritage and tourism more sustainable through development, operation and maintenance of world-class tourist infrastructure and amenities at ASI/State heritage sites and other important tourist sites in India.