Agra, July 6 (HS) The government has withdrawn a planned reopening of the Taj Mahal, along with other historical monuments, citing the risk of Coronavirus infection spreading in Agra from visitors flocking to see the monument. Local authorities issued a new advisory late on Sunday ordering an extension of lockdown curbs on monuments in and around Agra. The government order did not specify the duration of the lockdown for monuments that have been closed since March.
District Magistrate Prabhu Narayan Singh held a review meeting with the Covid-19 team and ASI officials on Sunday night. Informing about the updates he said, “55 new cases have been recorded in 71 containment zones in the district. The decision has been taken in wake of the Covid-19 situation as the monument comes under ‘buffer zone’ areas. The Taj Mahal, which is in the Taj Ganj police station jurisdiction, is a ‘containment zone’.”
The people associated with tourism business are disappointed with the decision, as they had completed all the preparations as per guidelines issued by the administration earlier. Even the Archaeological Survey of India had arranged for thermal screening at the entrances and had issued necessary instructions to follow the social distancing norms. It is noteworthy that the Union Minister of Tourism and Culture Prahlad Singh Patel had announced that the monuments will open from July 6 with full precautions, earlier.