Three-hour time cap enforced at Taj Mahal
The time cap for visitors to the monument of love came in force on Sunday with tourists being issued tickets mentioning a three-hour duration for their stay. Besides, children below 15 years of age were also issued zero value tickets (without charge).
Earlier too, children were admitted free. But now they would be issued tickets, although they would not be charged. The initiative by the Archaelogical Survey of India is aimed at having a proper head count of tourists coming to the Taj Mahal.
However, not much strictness was enforced on the first day. Tourists were issued tickets with specific time duration mentioned, including entry and exit time, but in many cases, it escaped the attention of the visitors. The ASI and CISF staff too were not very strict about the clause.
‘I do not have any objection to this restriction because three hours are sufficient for a tourist to devote to a monument. However, the ASI should ensure that time of tourists is not wasted beyond a reasonable limit in frisking or other security check,’ said Sanjay Singh, who came from Jhansi to visit Taj Mahal on Sunday.
Munawwar Ali, convenor of Uttar Pradesh Aman Committee, had reservations about fixed time duration.
‘There is nothing bad in such measures which are introduced to regulate the crowd, but this restriction should come with alternate measures for smooth movement of tourists at entry gates. Often it is seen that much time of tourists is wasted in security checks and queues are common at week ends,” he said.
Rajeev Saxena, secretary, Tourism Guild of Agra, said the restriction would discourage online booking as tourists would be allocated three hour time slot in advance and would be required to reach the Taj in time.