Indians at Taj to be capped at 40,000, differential ticket pricing

Indians at Taj to be capped at 40,000, differential ticket pricing

In an apparent bid to tackle the heavy rush at the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO world heritage site, the government has decided to cap the number of Indian visitors to 40,000 and aslo resorting to differential ticket pricing.

According to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials in Agra, each ticket would be valid for only three hours.

The officials of the ASI, who attended a meeting in the national capital on Tuesday to discuss the issue, said that the South Gate of the monument would also be closed and the visitors would be allowed entry from the east and the west gates only.

They said that the cap would only be on the Indian visitors. ''There is no cap on the foreign visitors,'' said an ASI official in Agra.

The tourists wanting to visit the main crypt would now have to shell out Rs. 100. Those not wanting to visit the main crypt would have to pay Rs. 60 only, the officials said.

The officials attributed the decision to cap the visitors and restrict the time duration to environmental concerns. ''Increasing footfalls at the Taj Mahal are a cause for concern...it poses a serious danger to the monument,'' said an official.

The locals said that the decision could give a huge boost to the number of visitors at other historical sites like Agra Fort, Etmadaullah and others. ''Besides the tourists, who do not get to see the Taj owing to the restrictions may stay for the night giving a boost to the hotel business,'' said a local guide in Agra.

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