Monuments to open, Setu app must

Updated on Jul 03, 2020 06:40 AM IST

The official said there will be thermal scanners at the entry points, and visitors’ status on Aarogya Setu will be checked before they are allowed entry. ASI will also collect visitors’ phone numbers in case contact-tracing needs to be done.

Officials from the culture ministry said the decision to open these sites outside containment zones was taken in consultation with ASI.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Officials from the culture ministry said the decision to open these sites outside containment zones was taken in consultation with ASI.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Hindutsan Times, New Delhi | ByDeeksha Bhardwaj

The Union culture ministry gave its approval on Thursday for the opening of monuments, places of worship, museums and heritage sites controlled by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from July 6, while introducing a series of safety measures, including the mandatory use of the contact-tracing Aarogya Setu mobile application by visitors and separate entry and exit points.

“It has been decided that all the monuments can be opened with full security from 6th of July,” Union culture minister Prahlad Patel tweeted.

Officials from the culture ministry said the decision to open these sites outside containment zones was taken in consultation with ASI. “We will follow all the guidelines laid down by the health and home ministries,” an official said. “People will have to compulsorily wear masks and use santinizers regularly. There will be separate paths for entry and exit,” he added.

The official said there will be thermal scanners at the entry points, and visitors’ status on Aarogya Setu will be checked before they are allowed entry. ASI will also collect visitors’ phone numbers in case contact-tracing needs to be done.

“There will be staggered entry and a cap on the number of people who can be present in the monument at a given time will be imposed,” the official said. E-ticketing facilities will also be ramped to ensure smooth and easy access. “We have to consider that the economy has to be opened up, slowly but surely.”

The government also capped the number of visitors inside Taj Mahal to 2,500, while Qutub Minar has been allowed 1,500 visitors per slot. There will be two slots per day. Visitors will also be asked to stick to a time limit in order to ensure social distancing.

On June 8, the culture ministry allowed 820 monuments to open, including the Taj Mahal. But the Agra administration decided against opening the monument in view of the rising number of cases in the city. Similarly, the Nizamuddin Dargah too got approval back then, but Dargah administration decided not to open the site.

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