Guwahati: All those who have been planning to visit the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra will now have to taste the bitter taste of disappointment. Nullifying an earlier order of the Central Ministry, the Agra administration on Sunday issued a new advisory further delaying the reopening of the Taj Mahal. Despite 820 ASI monuments opening on Monday, Taj Mahal's reopening was canceled and rescheduled. The decision comes in the wake of the increasing surge in Corona cases in the New Delhi and neighbouring areas.
The newly issued advisory ordered an extension of lockdown curbs on all monuments in and around Agra including Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort. The district authorities addressing the public said, "In the interest of the public, it has been decided that opening monuments in Agra will not be advisable as of now."
Earlier on Thursday, the Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel said that his Ministry had given the nod for opening all the monuments to visitors from July 6th. He also added that the opening will be in compliance with the state and district administration. All centrally protected monuments and sites shall be bound by the protocol issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and also by specific orders of the state or/and local administration.
Following the reopening orders, the number of visitors to the Taj Mahal was restricted to 5,000 per day and to that of other popular monuments between 1,000 and 1,500.
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) looks after 3,000 monuments in the country including the Khajuraho temple, Sanchi Stupa, Red Fort, and Qutab Minar.