Amid 7000 plus COVID active cases reported in Hyderabad, Charminar and Golconda fort to re-open on July 6. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has given its nod following a direction taken by the Union minister of state for culture and tourism. The ASI has placed a cap of 2000 tourists per day.

Charminar and Golconda fort, are among the fewer tourist destinations in Hyderabad, that witness a heavy footfall. However with the highest COVID cases being reported from Charminar circle, the public have raised flags against the decision.

The decision has not down well with the residents. “Even the famous Laad bazaar was shut for a week, traders are afraid to open shops. Re-opening Charminar will have an adviser affect. Also amid rising cases, why tourists visit,” said Adeeb Ali who owns a surgical gear shop near to charminar.

Even historians have questioned this decision. “Allowing crowd inside Golconda fort and Charminar will have an adverse effect, there is a high possibility of spreading the virus.” Said Prof. Sanjay Subodh, Professor of medieval history at University of Hyderabad.

GHMC limits on Friday reported 1654 COVID-19 new positive cases. The city has also recorded the non availability of medical facilities at many instances. “It is advisable not to allow any public gathering. It needs government permission for a congregation of 25 people. Physical distancing in Golconda and Charminar, cannot be guaranteed. The monuments needs to remain shut till the COVID curve is flattened, adds Prof. Sanjay Subodh.

Another Mr. Malay Mandal, who conducts heritage walks explained. “People visit monuments in groups. Most intend to spend hours. There is a zilch guarantee that ASI’s guidelines of physical distancing will be followed during sightseeing. This will also deprive visitors who intend to spend time at a particular location, as they will be asked to leave the spot for other visitors.”

The ASI informed that the tickets will be issued online. According to the set guidelines, wearing face-masks and physical distancing is mandatory for the visitors.

Group photography and eatbles will be not allowed. Only digital payment will be allowed, the cafeteria will serve bottled water. The ASI has assured that it will adhere to all the safety protocols.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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