Special Correspondent

The MoU was formally signed by Chief Secretary J.P. Singh and Chairman of INTACH S.K. Misra

It is a strategic partnership to restore, conserve and maintain officially listed heritage sites

The State Cabinet had, last week, approved an INTACH proposal covering 51 monuments

PANAJI: The Goa Government on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Delhi-based Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) for a strategic partnership.

Under the partnership, the Government has entrusted to the latter the task of restoration, conservation and maintenance of officially listed heritage and cultural monuments in the State.

The MoU was formally signed by Chief Secretary J.P. Singh on behalf of the State Government while S.K. Misra, Chairman of INTACH, signed on behalf of the trust.

INTACH convener and cartoonist Mario Miranda and Secretary, Archaeology, Anand Prakash, were present.

51 monuments

The State Cabinet had, last week, approved an INTACH proposal which would cover 51 identified monuments.

Master plan

The Cabinet had approved a Master Plan prepared by the State Directorate of Archaeology for schemes of restoration, conservation, maintenance, preservation and beautification of its 51 archaeological sites and monuments protected by the State.

Grants

The State is to utilise the grants available up to Rs. 20 crore under the Twelfth Finance Commission for these works between the period 2007 and 2010.

MoUs

Mr. Misra told The Hindu that INTACH has signed such MoUs with Punjab, Kerala, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. That apart, it is carrying on some unique village restoration works in Himachal Pradesh.

Reis Magos Fort

As for an earlier MoU signed by the State Government with INTACH for restoration and conservation of its fort at Reis Magos in north Goa, funded by London-based Lady Helen Hemlyn Trust, Mr. Singh said that the State Government would ensure that all the requisite clearances were at the disposal of INTACH by October this year so that it started work by November 1 and complete it in 24 months as per the schedule.

Cultural centre

As per the MoU, INTACH would not only restore the old fort to its original glory but also use its premises productively by setting up things such as cultural centre and a restaurant of Goan and Portuguese cuisine.

Mr. Misra said that the cultural centre and the restaurant would be managed by INTACH for first 15 years as per the agreement signed.

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