If the proposal of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) would be accepted then people may not be allowed to admire the Taj Mahal for more than a couple of hours. ASI proposed the exercise to reduce the crushing footfall at Mughal marvel.
ASI maintains the world heritage site in Agra. The institution proposes to restrict the visiting hours, allow visitors in batches, and install automated gates to ensure timings are strictly followed. ASI focused on having four shifts in which visitors will leave the Taj complex at the end of each shift.
“We intend to issue specific colour tickets for every quarter. Once a visitor leaves the premises, the ticket becomes invalid. We don’t want the monument to get crowded,” advocate ADN Rao, representing the ASI, said in the Supreme Court.
The restrictions were planned after it was noticed that many people sit on the manicured garden or at the corners of Taj complex. According to Rao, “They just kill time and not visiting the site to admire the beauty of the Mughal-era memorial”.
The ASI said nearly 400,000 visitors crowd the monument every weekend. “We need to bring down the number. We want the premises to be airy and clean so that tourists can enjoy their visits,” Rao said.
He had some good news for Taj lovers too. The ASI is contemplating increasing the time limit for viewing the white-marble monument on full moon nights. At present, 400 people in groups of 50 are allowed to stay inside the complex for half an hour. This will be increased to 45 minutes.