The Maharashtra government has yet to make a decision on whether to reopen the monuments to tourists, Minister of State for Tourism Aditi Tatkare said on Sunday.
An Aurangabad tour guide association wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday, demanding that monuments, like the famous Ajanta and Ellora caves and others, be reopened to visitors as the closure due to COVID- 19 brought many to the brink of “famine”.
Contacted, Aditi Tatkare told PTI: “I will not be able to say anything about this because it is a decision of the chief minister. A decision on the opening of tourist sites has not yet been taken”.
Aurangabad collector Sunil Chavan said he met several people who depend on tourism for their bread and butter.
“They are facing problems and even the hotel industry here has demanded the reopening of the monuments. The district administration is preparing a proposal on this and it will be sent to the state government,” he said. .
The Aurangabad Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is also considering writing to the state government on this matter.
“We are ready to reopen the monuments and state authorization is awaited. Our office will write a letter to the state government soon,” an ASI official said here.
After the state government’s decision to open religious places of worship, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) Lok Sabha member of Aurangabad Imtiaz Jaleel in a tweet on Saturday said he hopes now that the government makes the decision to open all historic places.
“People go out to travel but don’t do it since all monuments are closed. Again illogical! This has a major impact on the travel and hospitality industry,” he tweeted.