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ASI Wants Tourists’ Taj Tour Capped At 3-4 Hrs
August 24, 2016

ASI Wants Tourists’ Taj Tour Capped At 3-4 Hrs 


24 August 2016
Aditya Dev, Agra: A day after the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) told the Supreme Court that it is working on a proposal which will limit a tourist's visiting hours to "a maximum of three-four hours" so as to ensure better crowd management, local guides said on Tuesday that the move will not help much. Experts also said ASI should instead focus on limiting the number of visitors at the monument.
At present, 60,000 people visit the monument every day, with the number shooting up to over a lakh during holidays. Sanjay Sharma, president of Agra's Approved Guides' Association, said, "Instead of fixing the duration of stay, ASI should focus on limiting the number of tourists visiting the Taj Mahal everyday. As of now, any number of people can enter the Taj Mahal at any point of time."
Deepak Dan, president of state-approved Guide Association of Uttar Pradesh, suggested that the concept of step ticketing — different prices of tickets for seeing the monuments from different spots inside the monument — be adopted as it will reduce the burden on the main mausoleum because there will higher charges on tickets to see the monument from there.  
The ASI's latest proposal is just the opposite of a report by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), which had conducted a study on Taj's load-bearing capacity and recommended that the visit duration be limited to one-and-a-half hours. It had further said that at no point of time there should be more than 9,000 tourists, while the hourly entry flow should be 6,000 tourists.
One of the NEERI experts who was part of the study said, "No one spends more than one-and-ahalf hour inside the monument. Fixing three-four hours time limit will not make any difference. Instead, it will prove counterproductive. The report by us has done a detailed study over the years, recording the pattern of tourist movement".