The Archaeological Survey of India has proposed to cap the number of visitors to Taj Mahal at 40,000 a day, keeping in view the massive footfall on weekends and holidays, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. Each ticket is likely to be valid for three hours.
Currently, there is no restrain on the number of people entering the Taj Mahal daily or on the number of hours spent inside the premises. During peak tourist season or weekends, the number of tourists crosses 60,000 to 70,000 per day, PTI reported.
The decision to limit visitors comes a week after five people were injured in a stampede at one of the entry gates to the monument. The proposal to the Culture Ministry was made at a meeting in Delhi on Tuesday, The Times of India reported. If the proposal is accepted, Indian visitors could get around the limit by buying the more expensive ticket ─ international citizens pay Rs 1,000 to enter the monument, while Indians pay Rs 40.
“Several measures have been proposed by the ASI to ensure a smooth experience at the Taj Mahal and avert any tragedy, including limiting the number of visitors at 40,000 and limiting the validity of entry to three hours,” Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma told The Indian Express. “We have no option but to go by these measures.”
According to the proposal, regardless of whether a visitor buys tickets online or offline, the sale will be stopped for the day when the number reaches 40,000.
At present, children under the age of 15 do not require a ticket to enter. As per the restrictions, children under 15 will continue to have free entry to the Taj Mahal, however, they will be given a “zero charge” ticket to maintain a headcount, PTI reported.