GUWAHATI: Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, All Assam Students’ Union and other organisations are against the Centre’s move to hand over four tourist sites in Assam to corporate houses under the Adopt a Heritage scheme.
The four sites are Kaziranga National Park and historical monuments Rang ghar, Kareng Ghar and Shiva Dol, all in Sivasagar district in upper Assam.
“The four sites in question are the pride of Assam. The state is known worldwide for Kaziranga National Park. Similarly, the Ahom dynasty era Rang Ghar, Kareng Ghar and Shiva Dol are our heritage. We will oppose tooth and nail any move by the Centre to hand them over to any private parties for maintenance. The people in Assam will oppose it,” KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi warned. “If the Centre cannot maintain the sites, it should hand them over to the people.”
The AASU asked the government to immediately shelve the plan. “The AASU will not accept the heritage sites to be handed over to private parties for maintenance. It is the ASI that is entrusted with the task of maintaining them. If the ASI has failed to deliver, its officers should be taken to task.”
Amidst the uproar, the Sarbananda Sonowal government said the Centre’s move had been misconstrued in the state. “There is a misconception that the sites are being privatised. The government is not handing over the core areas of the heritage sites to private parties. Under CSR, a company will take care of the peripheries of the sites by developing amenities for tourists. The core areas will not be touched,” ATDCL chairman Jayanta Malla Barua said.