Visitors to Qutab Minar, Taj Mahal, Ajanta & Ellora Caves, or any of the 116 ticketed monuments in India are soon to be facilitated with the easiest way of booking tickets – online
This very new features will be boon for the tourists from abroad as now they will be able to make the payment for the booking through their credit cards. For providing entry to visitors with e-tickets, handheld scanners will be used to check the validity of the barcode printed on the ticket. “The ASI has initiated the process to outsource the work to a professional agency which can run and operate ticketing across all monuments. The system has been designed by the National Institute of Smart Governance. The process to hire the agency, which will provide web-based solutions, has begun with bids being floated last week,” an official said.
The agency will be responsible for ticketing operations that include designing of the system, booking of tickets, running the dedicated web portal, managing counters, checking of tickets, etc. According to the survey in 2012-13, around 4.5 crore visitors were reported to visit 116 ticketed monuments. Seeing the results, the system will be designed to book around 5 crore tickets every year and on a daily average of three lakh bookings per day.
Analyzing the ticketing mechanism of ASI, the NISG has reported that it may not be necessary for the purchaser of the ticket be the end user. The NISG document said, “Moreover, there is currently no mechanism to identify a ticket with a ticket holder either at the issuing point or at the checking point. There is no tracking mechanism to see whether every issued ticket is used at a monument site... even the ticket issuers as well as the ticket checkers are typically multi-task support staff members of the ASI who are expected to perform this function in addition to their other routine functions.”
Additionally, with reference to the problems faced by tourists, the NISG also added, “There is lack of effort to attend to complaints and grievances. No priority ticketing for the elderly, women with small children and differently-abled. There is also a possibility of overcharging of visitor fee from the tourists visiting the monuments and even loss of revenue due to malpractices.”
Visitor’s name and passport number would also be required as a mandatory detail for booking online tickets. In one go, a person will be facilitated to book tickets for multiple number of monuments. Currency convertor will also be present to help the foreigners with the booking from abroad. According to sources, this system will be activated in phases. The initial phase will include 10 monuments, which carry a UNESCO tag, namely Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, temples at Hampi, Konark, Mamallapuram, Agra Fort, Ajanta and Ellora caves, Khajuraho, and Buddhist monuments at Sanchi.
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