Free fall from the Taj takes toll to seven in 100 days

November 2nd, 2008 - 2:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Nov 2 (IANS) In yet another accident at the Taj Mahal, a 16-year-old girl fell from the low perimeter railing and got seriously injured. This was the seventh incident in the past six months.Rukhsana fell headlong onto the red sandstoned Chameli Farsh while getting herself photographed Saturday evening. On her way back home from Ajmer Sharif to Pune, she was on a visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

“Notice boards have been put up and we have marked the area unsafe. Still visitors manage to give us the slip and cause such accidents,” caretaker of the Taj Mahal R.K. Dixit said.

A list of similar incidents over the past six months shows that only domestic tourists to the ‘Monument of Love’ fall victims — perhaps because they don’t listen to the attendants who even show them newspaper clippings of such accidents.

A tourist guide Manoj said the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has put up various notices but tourists ignore the warnings and sit on the railing to get themselves photographed. The foreign tourists, on the other hand, follow the rules and are more careful.

“Falling from the railing is a matter of concern for the ASI. We have put up four signs warning tourists not to sit on the railing, but they don’t listen,” Munazzar Ali, assistant conservator at the Taj told IANS.

“Visitors tell us not to worry as they could very well take care of themselves,” an attendant said adding that “stretchers and wheel chairs are now kept close by. Earlier, these had to be rushed in from the main gate”.

Of the seven such incidents at the Taj Mahal since May 1 last, five have occurred from the white marble platform to the Chameli Farsh. In one incident, a woman fell to her death even as her husband was busy composing the camera shot. The woman, looking at the beauty of the Taj, lost her balance and fell headlong.

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