The Dalmia Bharat Group announced that it had adopted the Red Fort for five years under the government’s “Adopt a Heritage” scheme. The conglomerate beat IndiGo Airline and GMR group to win the Rs 25-crore deal, making it the first corporate house to adopt a historical monument in India.
The “Adopt a Heritage” scheme was launched in September to allow private and public sector corporations to adopt most of India’s top heritage sites. The companies will be responsible for building, operating and maintaining tourism infrastructure at 105 monuments and natural heritage sites up for adoption. The infrastructure includes providing amenities like toilets, drinking water, accessibility for the disabled, signage, audio guides, illumination, canteens, ticketing and maintenance of cleanliness and security.
In exchange, the companies will get brand visibility at the sites and an opportunity to “share the responsibility” of improving India’s heritage tourism by becoming Monument Mitras (friends of monuments) as a part of their corporate social responsibility.
The deal was signed between the group, Dalmia Bharat Limited, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India on April 9, but was made public on April 24. The agreement can be terminated if the company does not comply with Archaeological Survey of India guidelines.
The company plans on completing a night illumination project before temporarily letting security teams prepare for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech in August.
“We want more people from Delhi and the National Capital Region to come here regularly rather than just one-time tourists,” Dalmia Bharat Cement’s Chief Executive Officer Mahendra Singhi told the Business Standard. “Just look at some of the castles in Europe which are a fraction of the Red Fort’s size but are so meticulously maintained. We will develop the monument on similar lines and it will be among the world’s best.”