The ministry of cultural affairs plans to renovate and install “light and sound” shows at all heritage sites of the country, such as Paharpur Buddhist monastery, Mahasthangarh fort city, Kantaji Temple and Shatgambuj Mosque, Cultural Minister Asaduzzaman Noor said yesterday.
But despite having the intention to renovate all historical sites, the ministry is unable to do so due to lack of funds, the minister said while addressing a press conference to present the details of a new light and sound show at the Lalbagh Kellah in Old Dhaka.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the show at the Mughal-era fort at 6pm today.
The department of archeology has already installed new lights and sound systems at the fort at a cost of nearly Tk28.3m under a project of the cultural affairs ministry, Noor said.
Two open air light and sound shows of 30 minutes duration each will be presented in the gardens of the fort after sunset every day, except on Sundays when the site is closed to the public.
The initiative was taken to attract more visitors from home and abroad to the historic building and inform them about its background and other details, the minister said.
A total of 1,000 visitors (500 for each show) would be able to enjoy the show each day all year round, except during the rainy season.
Show tickets will cost only Tk20 each for local visitors, while tourists from SAARC and other countries will be charged Tk100 and Tk200 respectively.
Cultural Affairs Secretary Ranjit Kumar Bishwas, Principle Information Officer Aminul Islam, Director General of Archeology Department Shirin Akhtar and former DG Shafiqul Islam also attended the press conference, held at the PID conference room at the secretariat.
Shirin Akhtar said the fort authorities sell tickets worth Tk40,000 to Tk 50,000 daily, with sales going up almost threefold on weekends and other holidays.
Shirin hoped that the number of visitors to the tourist site would increase further with the new light and sound programme.
Meanwhile, renovation work has already started at the Shilaidaha Kuthibari, a country mansion built by poet Rabindranath Tagore’s family in Kushtia, the minister said in reply to a question.
“It has taken some time to fix the colour of the building. The experts are working to fix it. Renovations would be finished as soon as the authorities get their decision,” Noor said.