Over 800 ASI monuments which have places of worship to open from June 8

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By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: June 7, 2020 7:25:06 pm

Archeological Survey of India, ASI, ASI protected monuments, monuments opening, opening of monuments, India news, Indian Express The World Heritage Week 2019 will be celebrated from today, November 19 to November 25. (Source: File Photo)

The Union Culture Ministry Sunday approved opening of 820 Archeological Survey of India (ASI)-protected monuments which have places of worship from June 8 (Monday).

Confirming the development, Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel tweeted, “Today, the culture ministry has approved the opening of 820 of its living monuments under the ASI from June 8. All protocols issued by the MHA and the health ministry will be followed.”

The culture ministry has decided to open only those monuments where religious events take place, like the Nila Mosque at Hauz Khas enclave, the Qutub archaeological area, and Lal Gumbad in Delhi, among others. There are over 3,000 ASI-maintained monuments.

As many as 3,691 centrally-protected monuments and archaeological sites maintained by the ASI were shut from March 17 in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.

Among the ASI monuments having places of worship, which would be opened from Monday, include 114 from the northern region, 155 from the central region, 120 from the western region, 279 from the southern region and around 100 from the eastern region, officials told PTI.

The most such monuments are in Vadodara (77), followed by Chennai (75), Dharwad (73) and Bengaluru (69).

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry had Thursday released SOPs allowing re-opening of malls, hotels, restaurants and places of worship from June 8 as part of the first phase of unwinding.

The guidelines released by the Ministry of Home Affairs state that hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions are to be made compulsory at the entrance. Only asymptomatic persons shall be permitted entry at premises. All persons will be permitted entry only if they are using masks or face covers. It also stated that footwear or shoes should be preferably taken off.

It also stated that in order to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises, specific markings must be made with sufficient distance and separate entry and exit should be organized for the visitors. When queuing for the entry, a minimum of 6 feet distance should be maintained at all times.

Across businesses, those above 65 years and other immuno-compromised individuals are advised to stay home.

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