Taj Mahal ticket price hiked fivefold for Indians

Indians make up the majority of the Taj Mahal’s 10,000-15,000 average daily visitors. (AFP)
Updated 10 December 2018
0

Taj Mahal ticket price hiked fivefold for Indians

  • An all-inclusive ticket for Indian citizens was raised from 50 rupees ($0.70) to 250 rupees
  • The latest move comes only months after Indian authorities restricted the number of tourists to 40,000 per day

NEW DELHI: Authorities have hiked fivefold ticket prices for Indian visitors to the Taj Mahal, in the latest attempt to lower tourist numbers and reduce damage at the country’s top tourist site.
Indians make up the majority of the Taj Mahal’s 10,000-15,000 average daily visitors. Nearly 6.5 million people marvelled at the white marble 17th-century masterpiece in 2016.
An all-inclusive ticket for Indian citizens including entry into the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, was raised from 50 rupees ($0.70) to 250 rupees.
International tourists will pay roughly $19 to enter the UNESCO World Heritage complex in northern India, up from $16.
“We want people to pay more to limit the footfall,” an official from the Archaeological Survey of India, the government body responsible for upkeep, told AFP.
“This will cut down the number of visitors to the mausoleum by at least 15-20 percent and generate revenue for its conservation,” the official said.
The latest move comes only months after Indian authorities restricted the number of tourists to 40,000 per day. Previously up to 70,000 people would throng the site at weekends.
Experts say the huge flow of people is causing irreversible damage to the marble floor, walls and foundations.
Officials have also struggled to stop the white marble from turning yellow as pollution levels rise in the northern city of Agra.
Further damage is being caused by excrement by insects from the noxious adjacent Yamuna river, one of India’s most polluted waterways.
In July, India’s Supreme Court threatened to either shut or tear down the monument over the failure of the authorities to protect it from degradation.
The court asked the Indian authorities to consult international experts to speed up the conservation efforts.


Video shows rescue of baby from plastic bag in Georgia woods

A Georgia Sheriff saves a baby found in a plastic bag, in this screen grab taken from social media June 25, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 26 June 2019
0

Video shows rescue of baby from plastic bag in Georgia woods

  • Officials are asking the public to share any knowledge of a woman in the late stages of pregnancy who may have given birth to the baby

CUMMING, Georgia: A Georgia sheriff released dramatic body-cam video Tuesday showing the rescue of a newborn girl who was found alive inside a plastic bag in the woods.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office made the video public in hopes that it will generate credible tips in the case.
Authorities have been searching for the baby’s mother since June 6, when a family in a nearby home heard her crying in a wooded area in Cumming.
The video shows deputies tearing open the plastic bag containing the child as she cries. Then, they wrap her in a blanket to keep her warm.
Hospital workers decided to call the girl Baby India, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported .
“We are happy to report that Baby India is thriving and is in the care of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement Tuesday accompanying the video.
Officials are asking the public to share any knowledge of a woman in the late stages of pregnancy who may have given birth to the baby.
“We release this footage in hopes to receive credible information on the identity of Baby India and to show how important it is to find closure in this case,” the sheriff’s office said.
Cumming is about 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Atlanta.