Agra: Tourists wait long to reach Taj Mahal amid shortage of golf carts – Times of India

AGRA: Tourists visiting Taj Mahal had to wait in long queues to reach the monument on Saturday due to a shortage of golf carts.

Agra Development Authority operates a golf cart facility to help visitors commute from Shilpgram and west gate parking to the east and west gates of Taj Mahal, respectively. The distance from the parking space to the monument is around 800 meters.

Anna Joseph, a tourist from France, said, “We came to know that a golf cart will take us to the monument. It’s been more than 30 minutes and the cart is yet to arrive. Taj Mahal is a world heritage site, and we expected the best of arrangements here.”

As per official records, 40 battery-operated golf carts are deployed to transport tourists from parking lots to Taj Mahal. However, a survey conducted by the Taj security police team last month found that only 21 carts were operational.

“There is an acute shortage of golf carts at Taj. A fully charged cart hardly operates for around five hours as its battery gets drained. At any given time, the majority of carts remain non-operational. The facility is run by a private contractor and lacks proper monitoring by the authorities concerned. Tourists are facing a lot of inconvenience,” said Deepak Dan, president of Tourist Guides Welfare Association.


With the beginning of tourism season in October, the number of tourists visiting the Taj Mahal has increased. As many as 30,426 people visited the Taj Mahal till 5pm on Saturday, including over 3,000 foreigners.

According to official records, on average, 10 people ride in one golf cart. On a daily basis, the carts make 466 rounds from the parking lot to the monuments. Of this, only 4,660 tourists can avail the facility.

Mahesh Kanitkar from Maharashtra said that there was no facility in the parking to handle large numbers of tourists and they had to wait for over an hour for their turn to ride the cart. “Hundreds of tourists were forced to walk for several hundred meters under the scorching sun to reach Taj Mahal on time,” he said.

Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber secretary Vishal Sharma said, “Earlier, battery-operated buses used to ply, taking visitors from the parking lot to the monument. After these buses were phased out, new ones were not deployed. Golf carts have a small carrying capacity and cannot operate the entire day on a single full charge. The situation worsens on weekends. Authorities need to take time-bound action in this regard.”

Divisional commissioner Ritu Maheshwari, who is also the Chairman of ADA, said, “We have taken cognisance of issues related to the operation of the golf cart facility at Taj Mahal. The process to increase the number of carts has been initiated. Necessary action will be taken to ensure adequate function of carts deployed for the convenience of visitors.”

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