New Delhi: The number of daily visitors at the Taj Mahal will soon be capped at 40,000 to safeguard the iconic Mughal monument in Agra.
The Archeological Survey of India is considering enforcing a cap on the number of tourists allowed each day to better maintain the monument and its surroundings. Culture Secretary Ravindra Singh held a high-level meeting recently with ASI officials and representatives of Agra district administration and officers of the Central Industrial Security Force, regarding the proposal.
The number being considered each day is for tickets purchased both offline and online. The ASI is also likely to introduce a system to issue "zero-value" tickets to children below the age of 15 years, enabling them to keep a count of the number of such visitors, whose entry will remain free.
Currently, there is no restriction on the number of tourists allowed entry here. Reports suggest that there is - on an average - an increase of 10 per cent in footfall at Taj Mahal every passing year. There have been days when the number of tourists inside the complex has even touched 70,000.
The Taj Mahal is considered one of the finest specimen of the Mughal architecture. In 1983, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage."
(With PTI inputs)