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Minister agrees to probe into resale of Taj entry tickets
New Delhi, Feb 11 - Union minister for culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch Tuesday agreed to investigate the allegations of resale of entrance tickets to the Taj Mahal.
She admitted there could be resale of entrance tickets at the Taj Mahal after a delegation from Agra, led by MP Ram Shankar Katheria, met her Tuesday afternoon.
They demanded urgent steps to check the fall in tourist arrivals to Agra, home to three world heritage sites.
Katheria told IANS on phone that the minister, when told of the fall in the number of tourists in 2013, said investigations would unearth the truth.
Katoch said there had been an increase in tourist footfalls to India in 2013 and asked: "Then, why was this not reflected in the sale of tickets at the Taj Mahal?"
Katheria said: "We had met the minister a month ago and complained about this but no action was taken. We met her again today (Tuesday) and she promised to look into this. She also informed that e-ticketing will soon start for monuments in Agra."
The delegation told the minister that the Taj Mahal was losing popularity because tourists face numerous problems in Agra.
The tourists are left in the lurch whenever there is a VIP visit. On many occasions, they have returned without seeing the Taj Mahal despite spending a huge sum of money because the VIP visit kept the monument out of bounds for them.
K.C. Jain, a delegation member, told IANS that the total number of visitors to the Taj Mahal last year was 5,094,432 against 5,234,200 in 2012.
The number of foreigners dropped 6.28 percent. Interestingly, the number of foreign visitors to India during the same period increased 4.1 percent.
According to Jain, Katoch said the number of foreign visitors to India was increasing and there was no reason to believe the number of tourists going to see the Taj Mahal had declined. The minister asked her secretary to get the matter investigated.
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