Special Content

Special article vol.29

Cleanliness Drive In and Around Historic Monuments

In a step towards ensuring cleanliness of tourist spots, the Tourism Ministry has declared all ASI-protected monuments and archaeological sites as ‘polythene-free zones’. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Minister of State Culture and Tourism Shri Mahesh Sharma said advisories have been issued to all the state governments to support the ASI in keeping the monuments clean and polythene-free, up to 300 metres from their protected boundaries.

"We have issued advisory to all state governments/UTs to help in extending the polythene-free initiative beyond the 100 meter radius to 300 meters around the protected monuments," Tourism Minister told a joint press conference on 'Swachh Bharat Mission' along with Union Minister for Drinking water and sanitation Shri Narendra Singh Tomar.

He said his ministry also plans to bring in some laws to impose strict implementation of the polythene-free initiative in the areas which are under the jurisdiction of ASI. An official said the initiative will be reviewed after a month to decide whether there is any need to impose fines on offenders.

Sharma said the ministry has sanctioned Rs 350 crore to construct protected boundaries and disabled-friendly access at all ASI monuments. He added that the ASI has also ranked top 25 Adarsh monuments on the basis of various cleanliness parameters with Rani ki Vav in Gujarat being declared the cleanest monument in India.

Further, 75 other Adarsh monuments have been identified to be included in the ‘Swachh Paryatan Mobile App’, which enables citizens to take photographs of garbage at the monuments and send an SMS to the ASI’s nodal officer, who will confirm the complaint’s redressal.The ASI is going to build boundaries along all its monuments across the country.

"We are building boundaries in all these monuments. And in the first phase 350 crore have been sanctioned. WAPCOS and TCIL have been given the duty and within a year, 100 monuments will be completed," said Mr. Sharma.

He said, Apart from the boundaries, the ASI will also make the monuments polythene-free and build ramps to make them disabled-friendly. "Parameters like toilets, green lawns, polythene-free zone, signage for awareness, access for differently abled, drinking water and provision for garbage bins will be made available”.The ASI had categorised monuments of priority as adarsh monuments earlier. These include monuments like Red Fort, Taj Mahal, Leh Palace, Hampi, Konark Temple, and Rang Ghar. The ministry then extended the list to 75 more monuments to include them in the list of adarsh monuments. These include Sher Shah's Tomb, Sun Temple, Jal Mahal, etc.