Taj Mahal continues to be top revenue generator despite recent politics over monument
Cultural ministry's data based on sale of tickets from last year show that Taj Mahal generates the maximum revenue out of all Mughal monuments.
Political rhetoric seem to have zero effect on the popularity of monuments built by the Mughals in medieval India.
The revenue data available with the Cultural ministry, Government of India, shows that Mughal era monuments attract the highest number of tourists. Union Minister of state for culture and tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma shared the data last year in the Lok Sabha. The data is based on the revenue generated from sale of tickets as entry fee for visiting the monuments. Agra's Taj Mahal generates the maximum revenue.
As per figures, during 2014-2015, Taj Mahal earned Rs 21.23 crore followed by Agra Fort (Rs 10.58 crore), Red fort (Rs 5.974 crore), Humayun's Tomb (Rs 6.355 crore) and Qutb Minar (Rs 10.29 crore).
Details accessed by India Today TV show that the Modi Government continues to pursue UPA Government's policy on restoration and upkeep of these monuments. Figures suggest expenditure incurred after NDA came to power is almost close to the amount spent during Congress rule.
Archeological Survey of India's Agra Circle was allocated Rs 9.57 crore in 2013-14, Rs 14.04 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 12.7 crore in the year 2015-16. Similarly, its Lucknow Circle, which has a number of monuments built by rich Nawabs of Awadh got Rs 9.44 crore in 2013-14, Rs 11.65 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 9.45 crore in the year 2015-16 while the Delhi Circle was allocated Rs 13 crore in 2013-14, Rs 14.99 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 11.76 crore in the year 2015-16.
The BJP has already distanced itself from Sangeet Som's rant. BJP Spokesperson Nalin Kohli told India Today TV, "Everything that is a part of India's heritage starting with the ancient Vedas to yoga to all the great things that this land has, which are Taj, Humayun Tomb, Qutb Minar or anything else across India, these temples, Somnath are part of our heritage you cannot wipe out one or the other."
Even its coalition partner Janata Dal (United) has also lashed out at the leader. JD(U) Spokesperson K C Tyagi, "He doesn't know history, he is a novice. This government is spending similar amount on Taj Mahal as it was done during the previous regime. Taj Mahal is our national heritage, it is our pride on world stage."
It's not the political venom but the discoloration of marble surface of Taj which should be a cause of concern for Taj. Government of India spent over Rs 11 crore on its conservation in the past three years.