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'More companies helping preserve India's monuments'

New Delhi, April 24 - The number of public sector undertakings, private corporations and trusts paying for the maintenance of India's ancient monuments has grown over the years, Kumari Selja, minister of culture and urban poverty alleviation, told the Lok Sabha Tuesday.

Replying to a question in the lower house of the Parlaiment, Selja said: 'The government encourages conservation, restoration and environmental development of protected monuments under the the aegis of National Culture Fund (NCF), a trust under the ministry of culture.'

'Some corporate houses have come forward to maintain and develop monuments of national importance,' she said.

She said the Steel Authority of India was paying for the protection of Lodi Gardens while the Aga Khan Trust for Culture was funding the renovation of Humayun's Tomb, both in Delhi. The Apeejay Surrendra Group was helping maintain the Jantar Mantar in Delhi while the Indian Oil Corporation was helping protect the Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh, she said.

The Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj Group) was supporting the maintenance of Taj Mahal in Uttar Pradesh and the Gas Authority of India Ltd was giving funds to preserve the Tughlaqabad Fort in Delhi, she said.

The Mandu monuments in Madhya Pradesh, Jageshwar temples in Uttarakhand and Vikramshila in Bihar were being protected by the National Thermal Power Corporation. The Ahom monuments in Assam were being protected by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and the Hazardwari Palace in West Bengal by the State Bank of India. The Mahabalipuram temple in Tamil Nadu was getting funds from the Shipping Corporation of India, she said.

Most of the companies had earmarked between Rs.30 lakh to Rs.5 crore for the respective projects, she said.



-IANS


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