Deccan Chronicle

Archaeological Survey of India for limited visitors to Taj

Deccan Chronicle| amita verma

Published on: May 26, 2014 | Updated on: Invalid date

According to ASI, in 2013 alone, over 58 lakh persons visited the Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal (Photo: DC archives)

Taj Mahal (Photo: DC archives)

Lucknow: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) may soon impose a limit on the number of tourists visiting the Taj Mahal. A proposal to this effect is under consideration to minimise the damage caused to the monument due the increasing number of tourists. According to ASI sources, the average footfall at the Taj Mahal has increased at a rate of 10 to 15 per cent per annum. In 2013 alone, over 58 lakh persons visited the monument.

A senior ASI official said that the steps leading to the main platform of the Taj Mahal have been completely worn out due to huge tourist inflow. Besides, the constant movement has also left hand and foot prints on marble stones. The ASI has commissioned the National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute to prepare a report on the monument’s load-bearing capacity.

While commissioning the research, the ASI had put forth a proposal to introduce  another ticket inside the monument to enter the mausoleum, prohibiting entry to graves of the royal couple and thereby limiting visitors’ access the main platform of the monument. The proposal has already drawn flak from local travel and tour operators.

R.K. Bishnoi, a local tour operator said that the restrictions on entry would jeopardise their business and foreign tourists would shy away from coming to Agra. "If the number of tourists is restricted on a daily basis, tourism business will be adversely affected," he said adding that the travel and tour operators would shortly convene a meeting and send their petition to the ASI.

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