Even as the Centre’s decision to offer some iconic monuments for adoption by the corporate bodies has triggered nationwide outrage, Madhya Pradesh government has quietly initiated a move to handover ten heritage sites in the state to private players by de-notifying them.
A state-level committee chaired by the Chief Secretary of MP, B.P. Singh, has recommended de-notification of ten ancient monuments under state archaeological department paving the way for handing them over to the private players for their ‘adaptive reuse’, a senior officer of state culture department disclosed to this newspaper on Sunday, April 29, 2018.
Those heritage sites removed from the list of protected sites of state archaeological department included 17th century Moti Mahal, a palace built by then Gond ruler, Hriday Shah, on the bank of Narmada in Mandla district, the famed Kyoti Ka Qila or fort in Rewa district, Vijayraghavagarh Ka Kila in Katni district, Baldevgarh fort in Tikamgarh district, fort and temple of Bajrang Garh in Guna district, Haveli Navalsingh in Morena district, Narvar Fort in Shivpuri district and Prachin Kila in Dhar district. Sources said these monuments would be developed into heritage hotels after being handed over to the private players.
Incidentally, a fund of nearly 175 crores has so far been spent by the state government for their maintenance recently.
Conservationists have expressed concerns over the move to handover the heritage sites to the private bodies. “Visitors movements in these heritage sites will be restricted and the conservation of the monuments will be seriously affected if they will be handed over to the private players,” a retired archaeologist said.