Hiked entry fee at Sun Temple from Monday

Konark (Puri): After being stalled for nearly a month due to a protest by the Konark Suraksha Samiti (KSS), the increased entry fee at the Sun Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, here will be finally implemented from Monday.

The decision was announced by the district administration after talks with representatives of the Samiti here today.

“After discussing with Konark Suraksha Samiti, we have decided to implement the hiked entry fee from May 23. Besides, we have also discussed other demands of KSS with ASI officials and will inform the Government of India regarding these issues. After receiving their reply, we will take appropriate action,” additional collector of Puri Uddhab Majhi told media persons here.

According to reports, the district administration called a meeting today and discussed the matter with members of KSS and ASI officials among others to find a solution of the matter. It was decided at the meeting that the revised fee will be introduced from May 23 (Monday). The local people, however, can visit the temple at free of cost every Saturday, it was agreed at the meeting.

Notably, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had last month announced three-fold hike for domestic visitors and 100 per cent for foreign tourists for entry into the historic monuments, including Konark temple, across the country.

The ticket price was increased from Rs 10 to Rs 30 for the domestic visitors while the entry fee for foreign tourists was doubled from Rs 250 to Rs 500.

Expressing displeasure at the hike, the KSS had locked the main gate of the temple and protested in front of it demanding a roll back. The district administration had put the implementation of the hike on hold for a month and had assured them to look into the matter.