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Home / India News / Taj Mahal will not reopen for tourists tomorrow after Covid-19 cases soar in Agra

Taj Mahal will not reopen for tourists tomorrow after Covid-19 cases soar in Agra

Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel, a couple of days ago had declared that all Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments will reopen from July 6 for tourists.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2020 21:23 IST
hindustantimes.com | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
hindustantimes.com | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) soldier stands guard inside the empty premises of the historic Taj Mahal in Agra.
A Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) soldier stands guard inside the empty premises of the historic Taj Mahal in Agra.(REUTERS PHOTO.)

The iconic Taj Mahal in Agra will not open for tourists from July 6, tomorrow, with 55 new cases of Covid-19 being detected within the last four days in the city. The Agra district administration has decided to keep all monuments, including the Taj Mahal closed in the larger interest of safety of people.

There are also 71 live containment zones in Agra with a high concentration of Covid-19 cases, which make the reopening of historical monuments difficult as they are likely to attract crowds.

Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel, a couple of days ago had declared that all Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments will reopen from July 6 for tourists.

The Archaeological Survey of India office in Agra and district administration had also begun preparing for the opening, but the final call was due to be taken by the district administration at a meeting on Sunday evening.

“55 new Covid-19 positive cases have been traced in the last four days in Agra. There are 71 live containment zones in the city and the monument of Taj Mahal is within the Tajganj area which has both containment and buffer zones. Similarly, the monuments of Sikandra, Itimad-ud-daula, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort are to be considered within buffer zones,” District Magistrate of Agra, Prabhu N Singh said after Sunday’s meeting.

“The opening of these monuments will bring in tourists and may become a reason for the spread of coronavirus. In a meeting held between a district level Covid-19 team and the members of Archaeological Survey of India on Sunday, a decision was taken in public interest not to open the monuments of Agra as of now,” the District Magistrate said.

Monuments in Agra including the Taj Mahal have remained closed since March 17, even before the nationwide lockdown was imposed. Hotels were asked to open but did not get much business with the Taj Mahal, the main tourist attraction of the city closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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