ASI monuments reopen in Delhi, masks mandatory

New Delhi: Visitors at Humayun's Tomb in New Delhi on June 15, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
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New Delhi: Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb, and a host of other centrally-protected monuments in Delhi were reopened for visitors on Monday after being shut for over three months due to the COVID-19 crisis, officials said.

All guidelines, including social distancing and sanitisation measures, will be followed at these heritage sites. Wearing of masks will be mandatory and no one will be allowed to enter without it, an official said.

There are 173 monuments in Delhi protected under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). It includes three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb and Qutub Minar – and Safdarjung Tomb, Purana Quila, Tughlaqabad Fort, and Firoz Shah Kotla.

"Delhi's ASI-protected monuments have been reopened for the public as per the directions of the Culture Ministry. However, Red Fort, which is closed every Monday on regular days, will remain closed today," the official said.

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Visitors can book tickets in either of the two slots – forenoon slot, which starts in the morning and ends at noon; and afternoon slot from noon to 6 pm. In each slot, a maximum of 1,500 visitors will be allowed, according to the official.

On regular days, the official said, Red Fort gets an average daily footfall in the range of 8,000-12,000; Humayun's Tomb gets 6,000-10,000 and Qutub Minar gets 8,000-10,000. However, Humayun's Tomb attracts more foreign visitors, they said.

As many as 3,691 centrally-protected monuments and archaeological sites maintained by the ASI were shut from March 17 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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