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Entry fee for Jallianwala Bagh on cards?

Ticket windows, automated barriers installed at memorial irk kin of martyrs; authorities deny

Entry fee for Jallianwala Bagh on cards?

Automated entry barriers have been installed at the entrance to Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar. Photo: Sunil Kumar



Tribune News Service

GS Paul

Amritsar, June 15

Are the authorities concerned planning to charge fee for entry to the Jallianwala Bagh? The authorities have denied it. Yet, the new addition of fixing see-through glass in the windows built in a room erected at the main entrance supposedly a ticket counter and the automated entry barriers lying alongside, indicates that there could be a possibility of charging fee to gain entry into this historic site.

The issue was raised by kin of martyrs and several social organisations. Sunil Kapoor, whose great-grandfather Lala Vasu Mal Kapoor was shot dead during the massacre, said the Union Government earlier vanished the originality of the national monument in the name of renovation during the period when the site was closed due to the Covid-19 threat and now authorities were going to start paid entry.

The access to the historical site will be totally free. Still, I believe that the automated barriers and the structure raise suspicion. I have requested to remove the ticket counter structure and the e-ticketing machines which was not done yet. Still, I will talk to the Ministry of Culture in this regard. —Tarlochan Singh, One of the trustees of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust

“This room-like structure fitted with ticket window glass and automatic entry barriers clearly point that the authorities are going to make paid entry a reality,” he said while adding that, ‘how cruel it would be to earn money in the name of martyrs’.

An official, preferring anonymity, said originally, a proposal was mooted to have a paid entrance to the Jallianwala Bagh on the lines of other monuments like the Taj Mahal in Agra and Jantar Mantar or Qutab Minar in Delhi to meet maintenance charges, but it was stalled after a public protest.

Denying it, former MP and one of the trustees of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust Tarlochan Singh said unlike other monuments, the Jallianwala Bagh is the only exception which is being looked after by the Parliamentary Trust headed by the Prime Minister and Ministry of Culture is the custodian which has the liability to maintain it.

“The access to the historical site will be totally free. Still, I believe that the automated barriers and the structure raise suspicion. I have requested to remove the ticket counter structure and the e-ticketing machines which was not done yet. Still, I will talk to the Ministry of Culture in this regard,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sumeet Singh, member, Tarksheel Society, Punjab, said, “Lately, I saw this structure which is being erected clearly as a proper ticket window. If the authorities have denied to start entrance fee, then what was preventing the authorities concerned to remove the automated barriers, which had been lying here for the past over two years?”

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