PUNE: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced five archaeological sites viz Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Shivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu) to be marked as iconic sites with on-site museum to boost tourism.
Pune’s Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute’s former vice-chancellor Vasant Shinde, a renowned archaeologist, said the government has realised the significance of these heritage sites and has taken initiative to boost its development.
Cleartrip Chief Financial Officer Indroneel Dutt welcomed the move to allot Rs 2,500 crore for promotion of tourism and setting aside Rs 3,100 crore for the Culture Ministry to boost regional tourism.
He also hailed the decision to introduce more Tejas Express type trains, development of 100 more airports and the doubling of the airline fleet by 2024.
Shinde said the five sites are iconic and it will increase tourism in a big way by enabling people to go and see the actual image of excavation.
“It will also boost the local economy, generate local employment and help production of local craft,” said Shinde.
He said establishment of an Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation under the Ministry of Culture with the status of a deemed University will enable curating specifically designed courses for conservation of heritage sites.
“We have a huge intangible cultural heritage and through this kind of institute we will able to produce trained manpower. Even today, we depend on foreign entities for conservation. The Archaeology Survey of India (ASI) has a dedicated wing but they don’t provide training,” Shinde told Sakal Times.
He is heading the project of maritime museum to be set up at Lothal, the Harappan age maritime site near Ahmedabad by Ministry of Shipping.