Logo of Disability News and Information Service (DNIS)


A.S.I. announces special vehicle, entrance into Taj for physically disabled tourists

D.N.I.S. News Network - The Archaeological Survey of India (A.S.I.) has announced that it will provide a ‘battery-operated autorickshaw’ to physically disabled people at the world’s most romantic monument, Taj Mahal, in order to enable them to go up to the main platform.

Thus they will be able to enjoy the full glory and beauty of the 358-year-old monument up close. Finally paying heed to the long-standing demand to create a facility for physically disabled tourists to view the Taj, the A.S.I. has decided to provide a special entrance only for the disabled, who can ride inside the monument in the ‘battery-operated autorickshaw’.

But one would like to see if this plan materialises, in the light of what had happened earlier. The A.S.I. had announced a year ago, in February 2005, that it would make the Taj accessible to disabled people by installing a hydraulic lift. As per sources, the lift developed by a German company with a cost upwards of Rupees 10,00,000, had a completely built-in unit in the shape of a table and would not require even a screw fixed on the building. D.N.I.S. had also reported this news in February 2005.

But later, in September 2005, the A.S.I. Chief had, in an interview to D.N.I.S., said that they had to shelve the project of installing the hydraulic lift due to opposition from some groups and individuals, who had raised concerns over the sanctity of the place being desiccated due to this move. The A.S.I. Chief too felt that cultural sanctity of a historical place is important. If this was the case, then one wonders why the A.S.I. announced such a plan in the first place.