26/10/2017 11:18 AM IST | Updated 26/10/2017 11:20 AM IST

As Adityanath Visits Taj On Cleanliness Drive, No Takers For The Monument In Govt Scheme

What is keeping private players away from the Taj?

Amir Ghasemi

The Taj Mahal has been at the centre of controversy over the last few weeks. And even as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visits the most famous historic monument in the country, reports suggest that there are no takers for the monument under the government's 'Adopt A Heritage' project.

The Times of India reports that while Qutub Minar, Jantar Mantar, Purana Qila, Safdarjung's Tomb and Agrasen ki Baoli in Delhi, Odisha's Sun Temple, the Ajanta Ellora caves have found private players who would maintain the monuments, the Taj Mahal is still waiting for adoption.

The Adopt A Heritage project started by the government assigns the responsibility of heritage sites and monuments "to private sector companies, public sector companies and individuals for the development of tourist amenities. They would become 'Monument Mitras' and adopt the sites. The basic and advanced amenities of the tourist destinations would be provided by them. They would also look after the operations and the maintenance of the amenities".

Tourism secretary Rashmi Verma told the Times of India that the Taj Mahal would still be up for adoption in case a private entity wanted to take it up for adoption.

Meanwhile, Adityanath has already reached Agra was his much publicised visit to the heritage structure.

IANS reported that a cleanliness drive has already been launched at the monument for Adityanath's visit.

Indian Express, meanwhile, reported that the CM will lay foundation stone for a tourist pathway from Taj Mahal to Agra Fort.

His visit comes close on the heels of controversy after controversy regarding the monument. First, the Taj Mahal, which is arguably one of the most visited tourist spots in India, was left out of the Uttar Pradesh government's official tourism booklet. It was later added to it.

This gaff was followed by BJP leader Sangeet Som's highly controversial opinions of the Taj Mahal, where he said it was a blot on the Indian culture because it was built by 'traitors'.

Recently, Haryana Minister Anil Vij called it a beautiful graveyard.