'The ASI has ordered for 15,000 magnetic coins to meet the shortage,' Swarnkar said, adding that now there will be 35,000 coins available with the ASI to facilitate tourist entry into the monument.
Facing a shortage of tokens for entry to the Taj Mahal, which was affecting tourist footfall in the Mughal-era mausoleum, the Archaeological Survey of India has ordered 15,000 more of these magnetic coins.
Explaining the possible reason for the shortage of tokens, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI (Agra Circle), Vasant Kumar Swarnkar told PTI on Wednesday that the tourist guides buy extra coins in anticipation of getting more customers but either forget to return the unused coins or lose them.
The new system was set up to make entry to the Taj hasslefree for tourists. However, shortage of tokens has been affecting the tourist entry, especially during weekends, he said.
“The ASI has ordered for 15,000 magnetic coins to meet the shortage," Swarnkar said, adding that now there will be 35,000 coins available with the ASI to facilitate tourist entry into the monument.
In June 2019, the turnstile gates were installed at the monument's west and east gates. At the time, the ASI had ordered 40,000 coins, however, between June and December around 20,000 coins could not be retrieved.The official said that additional manpower has been deployed at the gates of the Taj Mahal to remind the tourists of returning the coins before exiting.