Mumbai: 'No plan to reopen monuments yet' says Aditi Tatkare

Updated: 16 November, 2020 08:15 IST | Agencies | Mumbai

Minister of State for Tourism Aditi Tatkare says tourist sites to stay closed; association of tourist guides in Aurangabad asks CM to open Ajanta, Ellora caves at least

The Ajanta caves near Aurangabad are a popular tourist attraction
The Ajanta caves near Aurangabad are a popular tourist attraction

The Maharashtra government has not taken a decision so far on reopening monuments for tourists, Minister of State for Tourism Aditi Tatkare said on Sunday.

An association of tourist guides in Aurangabad on Friday wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, demanding that monuments, like the world famous Ajanta and Ellora caves and others, here be reopened for visitors as the shutdown due to COVID-19 has brought many to the brink of "starvation".

When contacted, Aditi Tatkare said, "I will not be able to say anything about this as this is a decision of the chief minister. A decision on opening tourist sites has not yet been taken."

Aurangabad Collector Sunil Chavan said he has met several people who are dependent on tourism for their bread and butter. "They are facing problems and even the hotel industry here has demanded that monuments be reopened. The district administration is preparing a proposal for this and it will be sent to the state government," he said.

The Archeological Survey of India's (ASI) Aurangabad circle is also planning to write to the state government over the issue.

"We are prepared for reopening the monuments and permission of the state is awaited. Our office will write a letter to the state government soon," an ASI official here said.

After the state government's decision to open religious places of worship, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) Lok Sabha member from Aurangabad Imtiaz Jaleel in a tweet on Saturday said he hopes now the government takes a decision to open all historical places.

"People go out to travel but not doing so since all monuments shut. Again illogical.! Its having major impact on travel and hotel industry," he tweeted.

Sena slams BJP for trying to take credit on reopening of temples

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said that BJP should not take credit for the victory of Hindutva. "The lockdown was imposed by PM Narendra Modi and the decision to shut the temples was also taken by him, so there is no reason for BJP to take credit for the victory of Hindutva in this matter. I believe that the Prime Minister will have to tell the meaning of victory and defeat to such people," said Raut while reacting to the question asked by a reporter stating, that BJP was asserting that reopening of religious places here is victory of Hindutva.

All religious places in Maharashtra will reopen for devotees from November 16, after several months of closure due to the pandemic, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) informed on Saturday.

Cabinet Minister Jayant Patil said, "The decision has come at the right time when the number of COVID patients is low. The rules will be the same for all the religious places. The use of masks, sanitizers will be mandatory. Social distancing is very important."

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First Published: 16 November, 2020 08:15 IST

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