Footfall at heritage sites in Delhi on first day of reopening is satisfactory, say ASI officials


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The 13th-century brick minaret Qutub Minar received maximum number of visitors on the first day of reopening of ASI-protected monuments in the city on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the average footfall at other sites under Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in the city ranged between 2-25 per cent of their pre-pandemic figure. 

Historical forts, tombs and other structures in the city were shut for the visitors since April 15 after Covid cases started rising exponentially. According to ASI officials, over 400 people on Wednesday visited Qutub Minar, one of the oldest heritage structures in the city. Humayun’s Tomb was the second-most visited site. Nearly 240 tourists came to see the Mughal-era fort-palace, Red Fort, which was closed for about five months. 

The iconic garrison was locked for tourists on January 6 in view of bird flu scare after over 60 birds were found dead on its premises. “Though the footfall was comparatively low but given the circumstances (pandemic), it can be termed good, satisfactory and encouraging. The number may increase if the Metro’s running capacity is restored,” said an official. 

Red Fort, Qutub Minar, and Humayun’s Tomb are among the most visited sites in the city as they would receive approximately 10,000 visitors each daily before the pandemic. In Delhi, there are about 170 historical structures with the ASI and only 13 such as Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, Safdarjung’s Tomb, Purana Quila, and Hauz Khas have paid entry.

Qutub Minar receives maximum visitors

Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Red Fort are the most visited historic sites in the national capital. During the pre-pandemic time, each of them used to receive more than 10,000 visitors. One Wednesday, when these monuments were reopened, the number of visitors were very small; 420, 325 and 240 respectively.

However, the ASI officials said the numbers are encouraging considering the pandemic situation and hoped that the figures would increase

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