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UP to seek relaxation in Taj viewing norms: Minister

Written by: Staff

Chandigarh, Mar 24 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh Tourism Minister Kokab Hameed today said that the UP government will soon file a petition before the Supreme Court to reduce the distance of viewing the Taj Mahal during night hours.

The Minister, who was here to inaugurate India Travel Mart, a tourist exhibition, said night viewing of the Taj Mahal was closed down in 1984, but in 2004 it was started again following a Supreme Court order.

The Apex Court had allowed viewing of the Taj at night from a distance of about 310 metres away from the main monument.

The UP government would also seek Supreme Court permission in relaxing the norms fixed for sale of tickets in advance and online booking for visiting the Taj Mahal. The court has banned sale of tickets in advance and online booking.

Mr Hameed informed that from May 14, UP government will be celebrating the 2550 birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. The celebrations will continue throughout the year.

He said the Japan Bank of International Corporation has allocated Rs 680 crore for development of Buddhist places located in UP mainly, Kushinaar, Kapilvastu, Kausambi,Sarnath, Sravasti and Sankisa.

Also from May 10, 2007 UP government will be celebrating 150 years of the first war of Indian independence in the form of drama, light and sound shows in Meerut, Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Bittoor and finally in Jhansi, he added.

He said UP Tourism would soon start a cruise in the Ganga river from Assi Ghat to Varun Ghat, a distance of six to seven kilometres.

Tourism department has sent a proposal to the Union Goverment to develop Mahabharata tourist circle which includes UP, Delhi and Haryana, he added further.

He informed that age old Mahabharata period tunnels had been excavated in Baghpat and Barnava and these would be developed as tourist places.Historical places like Hasthinapur, Parikshitgarh and Gandhari would also be developed.

He said that Bhai Dharam Singh, one of the 'Panj Piyaras' (five beloved ones) of Guru Gobind Singh belonged to Hastinapur and a gurdwara here was built in his memory.


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