Published on : Wednesday, January 3, 2018
The Archaeological Survey of India is on its way to restrict the number of visitors arriving at the Taj Mahal to 40,000 daily and place a three-hour cap on each ticket holder to tour the 17th-century Mughal monument.
The aim is to help conserve the heritage site as per a source in the culture ministry who informed a media agency.
This cap is supposed to be implemented from 20th January onwards.
However it holds no limits on the number of international travellers visiting the site every day.
Ravindra Singh, Culture Secretary had held a high-level meeting with ASI officials and the representatives of Agra district administration and officers of the Central Industrial Security Force where the decision had been taken.
The meeting, as per a leading regional news media house was attended by Usha Sharma (ASI director), Raja Srivastava, Agra district magistrate Gaurav Dayal, CISF commandant (Agra) Brij Bhushan, ASI superintending archaeologist Bhuvan Vikram Singh, ASI ADG RS Lal, and deputy director (tourism) Dinesh Kumar, among others.
Till now there exists no restriction on the number of people entering this iconic monument complex at any point of time.
The average footfall at the monument has risen at a rate of nearly 10 to 15% per annum.
During the peak tourist season and other occasions the number of tourists within the complex crosses 60,000 to 70,000 per day. Also, the ASI might be introducing a system to issue ‘zero-value’ tickets to children below the age of 15 letting them keep a count of the number of such visitors whose entry would continue to be free.
The report also said that the authorities would be conducting a special slot-system.
By this system 20,000 Indian tourists would be permitted to enter Taj Mahal in the ‘first slot’ that is from sunrise till noon and the next batch would be allowed to enter in the time-period between noon and sunset.