Panaji, May 9 The Goa Church said here today that the inclusion of its monuments in the 'Adopt a Heritage' scheme will not be allowed unless it gives its No Objection Certificate (NoC).
Six monuments from the state, including two churches Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral both located in Old Goa near here are listed in the scheme.
Goa Archives and Archaeology Minister Vijai Sardesai recently held a meeting with the representatives of the church and government officials to clear apprehensions surrounding the Centre's scheme.
During the talks, representatives of the Archdiocese said the church, being the owner of the Catholic religious sites in Old Goa, cannot be ignored or excluded from any MOUs that may be inked between the Centre and the private entities under the scheme.
In a joint statement issued today, Goa church spokespersons Fr J Loiola Pereira and Fr Valerino Vaz said that during the meeting chaired by Sardesai it was agreed that the Archdiocese, as the owner of the monuments, would give an NoC listing all the conditions, restrictions and safeguards which it might deem fit in each case.
"Therefore, no intervention at the selected church sites would be allowed without the consent of the Diocesan Authority, which would draw up this NoC after due consultation at various levels," the statement said.
"It was also agreed that the Archdiocese would also figure in the proposed 'Monument Committee' that would among other things, monitor the execution of the said NoC," it added.
The state Chief Secretary explained that the scheme envisages to enhance the cultural importance of the heritage sites and to provide world-class tourist facilities at various sites across the country, the statement said.
"This would include basic (and wherever needed, advanced) amenities, illumination, surveillance, etc. With safety and security to visitors within permissible guidelines of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)," it said.
Corporates and individuals, to be called 'Monument Mitras' (friends of monuments) would be invited to provide peripheral facilities to the visitors, without touching the core of the monument or carrying out any conservation or restoration works, which would remain vested with the ASI or the State Archaeology Department as the case may be, the statement reads.