Daljeet Singh Superintending Archaeologist, Delhi Circle, ASI speaks with Hindustan Times.
A major problem at all ticketed monuments is unavailability of authorised tour guides. The guide association has alleged connivance of ASI officials. When can the tourist look forward to improved scenario?
Earlier, the licences for tour guides were given out by director general, ASI. Now, it is the ministry of tourism which does that, so we do not have direct control over guides.
Nevertheless, we will take up the issue with the guide association again. To start with, we will also display government approved rate board at the three World Heritage Sites at least.
Several monuments do not even have a proper approach road. For instance, there is a kutcha road taking you to Sultan Ghari and a waqf board welcomes tourists instead of ASI board.
At Sultan Ghari, only the monument is notified till the plinth area. Rest of the land belongs to DDA. There were talks with DDA long ago but the proposal fizzled out. We will take up the matter with DDA again. A new porta cabin with sturdy design would be put up in short time to replace the old one burnt by local miscreants.
Several monuments such as Tughlaqabad fort or Rahim Khan-e-Khanan tomb do not have basic facilities such as drinking water and public conveniences. If you expect tourists to buy tickets, why are there no basic facilities such as drinking water?
Tughlaqabad, yes, we will look into it. But for monuments such as Khan-e-Khanan tomb, the tourist flow also needs to be considered. We have to see if the logistics and infrastructure investment is warranted for say only 10-20 visitors per day.
If not all monuments can have even basic infrastructure, then why put a ticket at all?
Basically, tickets ensure that we allow entry of genuine visitors or heritage lovers only.