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Union Minister wants Agra Fort be freed of Army control

Fog covers Taj Mahal

Agra: Union Minister and local MP Ram Shankar Katheria has demanded opening of areas under army control in the world heritage monument of Agra Fort for tourists.

Katheria has written to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Culture Minister Shripad Naik requesting early decision on transferring the whole monument to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The Agra Fort, spread over 94 acres of land and close to the Taj Mahal, is an exquisite showpiece of Mughal architecture but nearly two thirds of it is under army control and only one third of its part is open for public viewing.

“If the areas under army possession: the Salimgarh, Birbal’s haveli and the sprawling gardens are opened, tourists will have another reason to extend their stay in Agra,” Katheria said in his correspondence to the Union ministers.

A delegation of the Agra Development Foundation had met UPA’s tourism minister in 2014 to demand transfer of the whole Agra Fort to the ASI.

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