Tourists feel cheated on Taj lighting event

November 13th, 2011 - 10:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Nov 13 (IANS) Scores of foreign tourists felt cheated when the Taj Mahal did not don a blue hue Sunday evening, as projected by managers of a diabetes awareness campaign.

A large number of tourist waited at various vantage points with their cameras to shoot what would have been a rare view of the white marble wonder.

“A security floodlight was used to emit blue light and was projected at the foundation of the Taj Mahal, from the rear near the Yamuna river,” said a tourist from England who had been waiting to see the Taj turn blue.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials did not agree to allow any new installations to project blue light on the main structure of the Taj.

The care-taker of the Taj Munnazzar Ali told IANS: “We have not permitted them to fix any lights inside the complex or the main structure.”

The lighting was planned as part of a unique initiative for diabetes awareness, on the eve of World Diabetes Day, Nov 14.

The confusion and uncertainty was caused by a statement of the ASI chief in Agra Indu Dhar Dwivedi that permission had been granted for turning the Taj blue.

Talking to IANS Sunday evening, Dwivedi said: “As a token of goodwill and a gesture to support the campaign, we have allowed some already fixed points to be used for blue lighting, but these would be in conformity with the established norms.”

“The media, in its over-enthusiasm and perhaps some kind of communication gap, misreported and gave a wrong impression. Only a few points in Sikri, Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal have been used for projecting blue light. The main structure of the Taj Mahal is not being lit up, nor lights being directed in that side,” he said.

“At the Agra Fort, two small blue bulbs symbolically lit up the gate and a part of the wall. The effect was lost and there were hardly any people around to see it,” said photographer Vishal.

President of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society, Surendra Sharma, who had opposed flood lighting of the Taj Mahal and other monuments, describing the initiative as a grave violation of the apex court’s directives, was happy with the outcome.

“It would have set a bad precedent,” Sharma told IANS.

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