Business group may adopt Fort St. George

Submits expression of interest under Central govt. scheme

Updated - December 01, 2021 12:10 pm IST

Published - August 10, 2018 01:26 am IST - CHENNAI

A view of the State Secretariat at Fort St. George in Chennai.

A view of the State Secretariat at Fort St. George in Chennai.

A business conglomerate with presence in cement, sugar and power industries has expressed its interest to adopt the historic Fort St. George, the seat of power of the Tamil Nadu government, under the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme .

If the expression of interest submitted by the business house is accepted, Fort St. George would be the first site in south India to be adopted under the scheme — a joint project of the Union Ministries of Tourism and Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) — that aims to develop heritage sites and monuments to increase their potential as tourist attractions and preserve them given their cultural importance.

A senior official confirmed the receipt of the expression of interest from the conglomerate. “We have asked the company to come and visit the campus so that other details could be finalised. They are yet to visit,” he said.

 

The expression of interest was approved at a meeting of senior officials of the Ministries in Delhi last month. But unlike the Red Fort in Delhi, which has already been adopted under the scheme, the handing over of Fort St. George may prove to be an administrative challenge as it is currently occupied by three entities — the State government (its Secretariat and the Assembly), the Army and the ASI.

Fort St. George encompasses the Secretariat-cum-Assembly building built by the British, the annexure buildings, the regional office of the ASI and its only museum in the State, the St. Mary’s Church, the barracks and the offices of the Armed Forces.

The monuments that are covered under the scheme (called monument mitras) are selected through a six-step process: selection of tourist places, submission of an expression of interest, shortlisting of the interests received, vision bidding and evaluation, selection of the monument and finally the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the selected party.

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