Heritage sites to be clean by an App
Litterbugs and those out to disfigure monuments could do well to watch out. The tourism ministry has opted for crowdsourcing so the public can keep a watchful eye on the country’s monuments.
The ministry plans to launch the Swachch Paryatan mobile app on Monday for 25 monuments across the country, including the Taj Mahal and Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Qutub Minar in Delhi, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh among others. Visitors will be able to download the app and take pictures of the “violations” whether it is unkempt signages, unsanitary or inadequate facilities for water or toilets, grafitti defacing the monument or attempts to destroy public facilities like audio guides or literature about the place.
The picture will be sent to a control room manned by officials from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) that is tasked with monitoring and upkeep of these monuments. The nodal officers will set upon fixing the problem and also revert to the visitor who has complained on the action taken.
“This app will initially be used for 25 designated monuments and could be expanded further. We will ensure that ASI officials respond to the complaint and also keep the visitor who has complained updated,” Vinod Zutshi, Union tourism secretary said.
The move is an extension of the Swachh Bharat campaign initiated by the Modi government. Tourism minister Mahesh Sharma has emphasised on the importance of cleanliness, safety and security of tourists as his priority. Among the other monuments where this app will be operational include Leh Palace in J&K, Hazardwari Palace in West Bengal, Daulatabad Fort, Shore Temple and Elephanta Caves in Maharashtra, Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan and Raniki-Vav in Gujarat.
The maximum number of monuments under the is from Uttar Pradesh (4), while Delhi has three. Other monuments in the list are from Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Utatrakhand.