Government shuts monuments down until May 15

Taj Mahal

As the nation grapples with the second Covid-19 wave, the federal government has moved as soon as once more to close all centrally-protected monuments and museums—together with the Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Ajanta Caves—until May 15.

Sources within the Ministry of Culture stated that if the scenario doesn’t enhance, the shutdown could lengthen past May 15. Last yr, too, the monuments remained closed for greater than 100 days as a part of the nationwide lockdown.

On Thursday night, the Ministry of Culture introduced: “All centrally protected monuments, museums and sites under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been closed with immediate effect till May 15 due to the surge in coronavirus cases in the country”.

The order to this impact was issued by the ASI and later tweeted by Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel. “Due to the prevailing COVID situation, it has been decided to close all centrally protected monuments, sites and museums under the ASI with immediate effect and till May 15 or until further orders,” the ASI stated.

As many as 3,691 centrally protected monuments and archaeological websites maintained by the ASI have been closed for guests on March 17 final yr.

After a shutdown of greater than 100 days, the monuments and monuments throughout the nation have been allowed to reopen from July 6. However, it was a conditional reopening, with the variety of guests being curtailed and guests being allowed solely as per the rules issued by the Health Ministry.

For occasion, there was a cap on the variety of guests at monuments which see crowds, and a few “interior or vulnerable” components of monuments remained out of bounds for guests. Additionally, guests have been imagined to share their cellphone numbers on the entrance of monuments for the needs of contact tracing, if required later.

Even as most different monuments have been thrown up, the Taj Mahal – India’s most visited monuments which sees as many as 70-80 lakh guests yearly – remained closed until late September owing to it falling in “containment zone” as per district authorities. Even because it reopened, the variety of guests was capped at 5,000 a day (in two slots), whereas that of different common monuments was capped between 1,000 and 1,500.

Meanwhile, the Red Fort in Delhi continues to stay shut since January 19 within the wake of the fowl flu circumstances reported contained in the premises, adopted by the January 26 violence by protestors, which triggered in depth injury to its entry factors and ticketing space.