Activists protest hike in entry fees at Sun Temple


Puri, April: Activists of Konark Surkaksha Samiti, an organisation working for protection and conservation of Sun temple in Konark in Odisha, Saturday forced shut down of ticket counters at the heritage site in protest against the hike in its entry fees.

KSS activists shouted slogans against the central government for its decision to raise entry fees for 116 monuments, including the Sun Temple at Konark, managed by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and demanded its roll back. As per the government’s decision, entry fee was raised to Rs 30 from Rs 10 for Indian nationals and to Rs 500 from Rs 250 for foreign visitors 

The decision to hike the entry fees was taken for improving facilities at these ASI sites, official sources said. Terming the move as inappropriate, KSS leader Badal Das demanded the decision to raise the entry fees must be rolled back forthwith. The Samiti has been demanding concrete steps for proper preservation and conservation of the world famous monument, Das said, adding the organisation would continue its fight till its demands are met.

As the protesters closed the ticket counters, tourists were unable to enter into the monument. “We are feeling highly disappointed. We came from far off places but failed to enter into the monument,” said a tourist, adding the hike in entry fees should have been reasonable to make it affordable for all categories of visitors. Police personnel were deployed at the heritage site to maintain law and order, police said.

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