Collector requests ASI to put hike in Konark entry fee on hold for a month

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Puri: The district Collector Arvind Agarwal on Wednesday wrote a letter to the superintendent archaeologist of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) requesting him to put the collection of revised entry fee for the world famous Sun Temple here on hold for the next one month keeping the law and order situation in mind.

Efforts will be made to find out a permanent solution for the fee hike soon, Agarwal wrote in his letter.

On Tuesday, a 10-member team of Konark Suraksha Samiti met district collector Arvind Agarwal and submitted a memorandum calling for the roll back of the entry fee hike.

Notably, the Central government had raised entry fees for 116 Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) managed monuments in India, including the Sun Temple at Konark, with effect from Friday.

The government had raised the entry fee three-fold to Rs 30 from Rs 10 for Indian nationals and two-fold for foreign visitors to Rs 500 from Rs 250.

A notification issued by the Central government said the move was aimed at raising money for improving facilities at these sites. The last time entry fees at ASI monuments was raised was way back in 2000, it had pointed out.

Besides, high-value tickets worth Rs 750 and Rs 300 were introduced for world heritage sites, including Sun Temple, for tourists who want to avail special facilities like free bottled water, Wi-Fi facilities, pictures and CDs. There would be separate queues for holders of high-value tickets to facilitate their hassle-free entry to the site, the notification said

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