Hike in entry fee for Sun temple put on hold for 15 days

Konark: The Puri district administration on Sunday decided to hold back implementation of the revised entry fee for the Sun temple for the next 15 days.

Madhusudan Das, Sub-collector, Puri, said, “After a discussion with the Konark Surakhya Samiti, which has been agitating for the past two days demanding rollback of the new entry fee, the district administration has requested the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to collect entry fee at the rates prevalent earlier for the next 15 days. A final decision regarding the entry fee will be taken after 15 days.”

Ramkrushna Mohanty, Secretary, Konark Surakhya Samiti, said, “The samiti had been striking for the past three days demanding conservation of the monument, basic facilities for visitors and waiver of entry fee every Saturday. After the district administration’s assurance to put in place basic facilities for visitors within 15 days and to collect entry fee at the old rate, we withdrew the agitation.”

“However, if the ASI does not waive the entry fee on Saturday and reimposes the new rates, we will launch our agitation again, ” he warned.

Notably, the ASI, which looks after the monument, increased the entry fee for the Sun temple from Rs 10 to Rs 30 in case of domestic visitors and from Rs 250 to Rs 500 for foreign visitors.

The new entry fee is being opposed by the Konark Surakhya Samiti members and a protest was launched one month back following which the Collector had put the implementation of the ASI decision on hold.