Tuesday June 19, 2018
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Centre applies New measures to 144 Tourist sites, likely to make it Disabled-Friendly

ASI has identified 50 ancient sites and has prepared a list of these under its Adarsh Smarak Yojana

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Taj Mahal.Image source: webneel.com
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  • The government has planned to set up solar wheelchairs, battery-driven carts and special toilets among other facilities at 145 cultural wonders
  • The overhaul will take place in an organised phase manner and will cover prominent monuments throughout the nation
  • The officials said that these facilities would be put up without modifying the authenticity of these sites

In a welcoming initiative taken up as a part of the ‘Accessible India Campaign’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi , several  monuments will be made accessible to the differently-abled visitors.

The move has come up in a joint effort of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) and the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

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The government has planned to set up solar wheelchairs, battery-driven carts and special toilets among other facilities at 145 cultural wonders such as the Taj Mahal and Jagannath Temple to ensure that these structures are more inclusive to the needs of the differently-abled in a country.

Apparently, the overhaul will take place in an organised phase manner and will cover prominent monuments throughout the nation, reported India Today.

For its initial phase, ASI has shortlisted 50 ancient sites and has prepared a list of these under its Adarsh Smarak Yojana, considering to cover the historical structures that witness very high tourist footfall first.

Taj Mahal Image Source:Rollingrains.com
Taj Mahal Image Source:Rollingrains.com

taj mahal

The sites that would be covered also include the Ajanta and Ellora Caves of Maharashtra, Delhi’s Qutb Complex and Red Fort, Rajasthan’s Ranthambore Fort and Brahma Temple, Group of Monuments at Hampi in Karnataka and Odisha’s Konark Sun Temple.

Presently, 25 out of 3,680 protected monuments in India have been selected under the Adarsh Smarak Yojana. However, a senior ASI official said that the list of Adarsh monuments had been revised with the number going up to 100 from 25.

DEPwD joint secretary Mukesh Jain told dailymail.co.uk, “The programme is being executed under the direction of the DEPwD only as we are making all heritage and religious sites disabled-friendly by introducing special arrangements for ‘Divyang’ people.”

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The officials said that solar wheelchairs, battery-driven carts, brail signage, tactile floors or pathways, special toilets and railings, etc, would be available at the very entrance of these archaeological sites.

It will be taken into serious consideration that these facilities don’t meddle with the original structure of these monuments. There are also discussions to involve attendants at some of these archaeological sites to assist the differently-abled if needed.

The initiative is also seen as the government’s effort to boost international tourism.

Note:  ‘Accessible India Campaign’ (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) is an ambitious project launched in December, last year. The programme intends to make at least 50 per cent of all government buildings in the country’s capital and all state capitals “fully accessible” for the disabled by July 2018.

-This article is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Aparna Gupta

    This measure will help the tourist. This will also reduce the pollution and thus, preserving our environment.

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70 years after Independence power reaches Elephanta Isle near Mumbai

An unseasonal 'Diwali' has suddenly been ushered on the island, which used to be plunged into darkness after dusk in the absence of electricity at the three villages

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The power connection is also expected to speed up work on the proposed 8-km long ropeway connecting Mumbai directly with Elephanta Island running above the Arabian Sea
The power connection is also expected to speed up work on the proposed 8-km long ropeway connecting Mumbai directly with Elephanta Island running above the Arabian Sea. Wikimedia Commons
* Elephanta Caves is a UNESCO World Heritage site
* An unseasonal ‘Diwali’ has suddenly been ushered on the island
* The official is hopeful that now, the Islanders can get better educational institutions, boost tourism
Seventy years after Independence, a 7.5-km long undersea cable has finally brought electricity to the world-famous Gharapuri Isle, which houses the UNESCO World Heritage site Elephanta Caves, about 10-km from Mumbai, a top official said here on Thursday.
The project to electrify the island, thronged daily by thousands of Indian and foreign tourists, has cost a total of Rs 25 crore and was completed in 15 months, said Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. Regional Director Satish Karape.
“This is India’s longest undersea power cable which took around three months to lay. Plus, we have installed a transformer in each of the three villages, six streetlight towers each 13-metre tall with six powerful LED bulbs and provided individual power meter connections to 200 domestic and a few commercial consumers. Intensive testing over past three days has been successful,” Karape told IANS.
A function will be held at the island later in the day when renowned social reformer Appasaheb Dharmadhikari will formally ‘switch on’ the power supply in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, his ministers Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Jaykumar Raval, Ravindra, and other dignitaries.
Inhabited since the 2nd Century BC, the island has seven big and small rock-cut caves temples carved between 5th-6th Centuries AD.
Inhabited since the 2nd Century BC, the island has seven big and small rock-cut caves temples carved between 5th-6th Centuries AD. Wikimedia Commons
Karape said that of the total project cost, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority gave Rs 18.50 crore while the rest had been borne from the MSEDCL’s own resources.
The 22-KV cable has four lines, including one exclusive standby line, to ensure 24×7 high-quality power to the Islanders with sufficient excess capacity to take care of future requirements for more than 30 years, he explained.
An unseasonal ‘Diwali’ has suddenly been ushered on the island, which used to be plunged into darkness after dusk in the absence of electricity at the three villages — Raj Bander, Mora Bander and Shet Bander — housing around 1,200 people, mostly engaged in fishing, farming, boat-repairs and tourism-related activities.
Since the past few years, however, the villagers managed with just three hours electricity courtesy power generators provided by the state government, but these were expensive and unreliable.
The previous Congress-Nationalist Congress Party regime had initiated the proposal, but it fell through as the tender attracted a single bid, and later the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government revived the proposal almost two years ago.
The 22-KV cable has been connected directly with the MSEDCL’s Olwa sub-station, Panvel Division in Raigad on the mainland, Karape said.
Since a small dam exists on this 16-sq km island, a water filtration plant can be set up to provide safe and clean drinking water to the locals and tourists, who now rely on bottled mineral water.
Since a small dam exists on this 16-sq km island, a water filtration plant can be set up to provide safe and clean drinking water to the locals and tourists, who now rely on bottled mineral water. Wikimedia Commons
The official is hopeful that now, the Islanders can get better educational institutions, boost tourism — probably with the overnight stay, subject to other governmental clearances — install a lighthouse on the isle’s hilltop, and even power the Elephanta Caves if the Archaeological Survey of India permits.
Since a small dam exists on this 16-sq km island, a water filtration plant can be set up to provide safe and clean drinking water to the locals and tourists, who now rely on bottled mineral water.
The power connection is also expected to speed up work on the proposed 8-km long ropeway connecting Mumbai directly with Elephanta Island running above the Arabian Sea, planned by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), and billed as a boon to nearly two million tourists who visit it annually.
Inhabited since the 2nd Century BC, the island has seven big and small rock-cut caves temples carved between 5th-6th Centuries AD. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
The island also has two large British-era canons atop the hill.
Presently, the thickly-forested island abounds in monkeys and other creatures, is accessible only by an hour-long voyage by motorboats and launches from Gateway of India or Raigad, with the compulsory return in the evening.