AGRA, November 22: The ministry of tourism plans to start the e-ticket facility at the Taj Mahal from January 1 next year.
As per reports, union minister for tourism, Mahesh Sharma, announced the same during a meeting with Ramshankar Katheira, minister of state (HRD), on Wednesday in Delhi.
MP’s representative Anil Chaudhari said, “The e-ticketing issue was discussed during the meeting. The ministry is very keen on starting the service and assured that it will be launched on January 1.” An ASI official from Agra also confirmed the news, saying that the project is in its advanced stages and the service, in all likelihood, would start from January.
The service will be operated by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which has submitted a proposal in this regard. With this facility in place, tourists will not have to stand in long queues at the Taj Mahal. They will be able to book their entry to the monument in advance.
ASI officials said the agency will also look into putting a limit on the number of people visiting the monument on a daily basis. Sources said that ASI is mulling to put the cap at 24,000 visitors only for duration of two hours daily. Visitors will be put in the waiting list after the fixed limit is up and will have to book the ticket for the next available date.
At present, the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) is conducting a study on the carrying-capacity of the 360-year-old marble monument. The report is expected in the next three to four months. A final decision on putting a cap on the number of tourists will be taken after this.
The announcement to start the service was made by the then tourism minister Shripad Naik during his Agra visit in August this year.