MTDC signs 10 year MOU with Archaeological Survey of India
Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Archaeological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture, Government of India to have an understanding for smooth execution of various projects for development and creation of tourist facilities and amenities in and around centrally protected monuments/sites in Maharashtra. This is the first MOU the Archaeological Survey of India has signed with any tourism board in India.
The MOU was signed by Dr. K.H. Govinda Raj IAS, Managing Director - Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and Shri.Sharad Sharma, Additional Director General (ASI Delhi) in presence of Dr.Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister Tourism; Shri JaykumarJitendrasinh Rawal, Hon'ble Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra; Smt. Valsa Nair Singh IAS, Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra and other officials of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)Mumbai and Aurangabad Circle. MOU was signed in a meeting at Trident BKC on 23rd August, 2016.
Shri JaykumarJitendrasinh Rawal, Hon'ble Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra said “This is great step to develop infrastructure for the use of tourists in and around centrally protected monuments and sites under jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in Maharashtra. As per the policy of PPP declared and promoted by Govt. of India, Director, Govt. of Maharashtra or MD, MTDC shall explore the possibility of PPP mode for implementation of projects or funding. Director or any Government Agency nominated and entrusted by Secretary, Department of Tourism shall make and submit the proposal to competent authority, covering Conservation / Restoration and Providing Public / Tourist Amenities on PPP basis. Such proposals shall be accorded required approval as case to case basis”.
Smt. Valsa Nair Singh IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism & Cultural, Government of Maharashtra stated, “Maharashtra is a state that has some of the most historic and magnificent monuments and tourists from across the world look forward to experience such places. By associating with ASI, we look forward to provide tourists all the facilities with good infrastructure in order to boost tourism in the state. Through this MOU, Director, Tourism, shall be allowed to arrange tourism festivals like “Fort Festival” or “Diwali on Forts” or on similar theme in and around centrally protected monument. The festivals should mainly involve the historical importance of the monument and should generate employment opportunity to the locals. Department of Tourism / MTDC shall take the entire responsibility of the festival in general. It shall be the responsibility of MTDC to keep the monument clean and environment friendly during and after the festival time. Raigad Fort, Sindhudurg Fort, Shivneri Fort, Rajgad Fort, Pratapgad Fort are some of the important Festivals proposed.
Dr. K.H. Govind Raj IAS, Managing Director of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation said, “We are honoured to sign the MOU with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), through this partnership we look forward to maintaining and developing the cultural heritage of Maharashtra. The aim is to showcase Maharashtra as a world-class tourist destination.”
Under this MOU, Director, Government of Maharashtra, a representative of Principal Secretary (Tourism), Government of Maharashtra or Managing Director, MTDC or any officer entrusted by Principal Secretary (Tourism), Government of Maharashtra (henceforth will be mentioned as 'Director' only) shall be responsible for preparing proposals/project reports for providing tourists facilities/amenities in and around centrally protected monuments/ sites in Maharashtra in concurrence/comments/suggestions with Superintending Archaeologist, ASI under whose jurisdiction, the monument/site falls.
The Director shall appoint Consultant/Architect/Conservation Architect/Heritage Architect for preparation of Master Plan of Conservation of Monuments along with estimate/proposals/detailed project reports (DPRs) for providing tourists amenities/facilities, which shall include basic amenities such as Toilets, Drinking water facilities, rests shelters, cafeterias, signage, pathways, landscaping, development of parking, clock room, tents, providing other necessary tourist infrastructure related to tourists/visitors such as historical museum, information center etc. The proposal may also include the Conservation / Restoration of the Monument in concurrence with Superintending Archaeologist under whose jurisdiction the monument / site falls. Director, GoM and Superintending Archaeologist, ASI or their respective representatives may have joint visits to the site, if required.
As the forts in Maharashtra are spread wide in both directions (Kilometers long), and as the fortification walls of the Forts are on periphery of hills; special consideration shall be given for providing tourism amenities within the fortification walls as there is deep valley or surrounding sea outside the fortification walls. The proposal submitted under this consideration shall be accorded required approval as case to case basis. The tourism infrastructure works in these areas shall be executed by the Director or any agency appointed by him under the supervision of ASI.
Government of Maharashtra shall arrange requisite funds for all the projects from Central Financial Assistance (CFA), State Govt. agencies, Corporate Social Responsibility Fund (CSR) of Private Companies or through Public Private Participation (PPP). ASI shall not have objection for any kind of fund raising by Govt. of Maharashtra.
Initially, the tenure of this agreement shall be 10 years. The agreement shall be extended for further period of on mutual consent of the parties mentioned herein.
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