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Sharmili Mallick

Konark: Tourists visiting Sun Temple in Konark will have to shell out some extra bucks as the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) hiked the entry fee to the monument from Rs 30 to Rs 40.

Following the revised rates, foreign visitors will now have to pay Rs 600- Rs 100 more than what they used to pay before.

The entry fee was increased as part of the rate revision introduced by ASI authorities. As per reports, fees of 16 ASI protected monuments across the country have been revised.

Meanwhile, protesting the move, members of Konark Surakshya Samiti locked up the ticket counter at the temple premises today giving the tourists a tough time. However the agitating body postponed its agitation after the police intervened.

“Ticket rates should remain the same. The ASI should rather concentrate in preserving the ancient temple and tackle waterlogging problem inside the premises. Once that is done, we will allow increase in the ticket rates,” said President of Konark Surakshya Samiti, Badal Dash adding that the rates were hiked without any prior notice.

“After getting information, we rushed to the spot and held talks with the protestors. The strike was called off and the situation is normal now,” informed Inspector-in-Charge (IIC) of Konark police station, Sanjeeb Pradhan.

“The temple already has a huge footfall and there was no need to hike the prices. We had to wait for long hours as some people had locked up the temple gates,”a tourist informed.

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