The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Monday launched the trial run for e-ticketing operations at Qutab Minar, a World Heritage Site. The trial will continue till October 31.
With an average of 5,000 visitors per day on working days and more on Sundays and holidays, Qutab Minar — the second-most visited monument in India after the Taj Mahal in Agra — registered about 21.48 lakh Indian and 3.40 lakh foreign visitors in 2011.
The idea behind the move is to make the current ticketing system hassle-free. It is also proposed to take care of revenue accounting, visitor data and minimise the possibility of malpractices. If successful, the technology would be put to use at all ASI's 116-ticketed monuments across the country.
But a visit to the monument revealed that the tourist volume was a test for the staff. Ticket checkers at the entry gate use handheld readers for tickets printed with barcodes. The ticket printer could print just eight tickets at one time. The barcode proved to be another problem for the machine to read at times.
When a large group came along, only one person held all the tickets most of the times. It immediately led to long queues.
SK Mittra, ASI's director (monuments), visited the spot and took stock of the situation. He instructed the officials to prepare an "issue register" along with reasons and timings, etc., for the problems encountered.