Siraj Qureshi

Coronavirus lockdown: Agra Tourism industry demands reopening of Taj Mahal

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Taj Mahal is currently shut as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Uttar Pradesh as the monument attracts a lot of tourists across the globe. The closure has been a major concern for Agra tourism industry.

The tourism industry has raised concern with the central government, demanding to know why the Taj Mahal and other Agra monuments are being kept closed for tourists.

Hindustani Biradari secretary Ziauddin told India Today TV that the closure of the Taj Mahal has affected about 4 lakh people, who are linked to the tourism industry.

“It will take time to normalise the situation after Covid-19. However, till then tourists can follow the same safety guidelines like wearing a mask, proper sanitization and social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus,” Ziauddin said.

Meanwhile, shopping malls, markets, and offices have all been opened in Agra after the centre announced Unlock 1.0. All forms of transportation services — railways, buses and airlines — have also been resumed.

“Shopping malls, markets, and offices have all been opened in Unlock 1.0. Also, All forms of transportation, railways, buses, and airlines have resumed services, then why are tourist places like being kept closed?” Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber President Prahalad Agarwal asked.

Amir Qureshi, connected to the tourism industry, said foreign tourists make plans of Agra visit before the tourist season starts.

“This year, The season will start in September, but if the Taj Mahal continues to be closed, then tourists will not make plans, resulting in loss of an entire season. People connected to the tourism industry are already facing difficulties and the government is not providing any assistance,” Amir Qureshi said.

“An appeal has been sent to the central government and ASI for reopening Taj Mahal,” Amir Qureshi added.

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