Bhubaneswar: Heritage assets of the country should not be in the hands of government. It should be handed over to civil societies for  its protection,  conservation and maintainance.

The Intac national chairman, Major General LK Gupta, said on Thursday that the handling of heritage assets of the country by government is a colonial legacy. The British rulers had taken over the heritage sites with a view to destroy those and promote their own heritage.

The Intac chairman heavily came down on the Archeological Survey of India  (ASI) and the State Archeological Departments for the neglect of the heritage sites of the country.

Gupta, who was here to launch a book, said that the restriction on activities around the heritage site is quite fallacious. He suggested that the local conditions should govern the restriction of activities rather than area limit. Stating that  all these ASI laws and rules  are the legacy of the British Raj who never wanted our heritage should be protected and preserved for our next generation, he said that all these laws and rules should be revisited .

The Reacting to conservation of heritage sites those are under private ownership, he suggested that the Kerela model be adopted by the state government and the local bodies. In Kerela, the private properties having heritage value is being supported financially or otherwise by the state government as well as the local bodies.

Stating that there are only 7500 heritage sites listed by the ASI and the State Archeological Departments, he said that all the sites having heritage value be listed. It would be easier to provide support to private owned heritage sites once these were listed, he added. According to him, the National Cultural Fund could be used for this purpose.

The Intac Odisha chapter president, AB Tripathy, said that all heritage sites in the state has been listed and are going to be notified very soon.  download