Instant photographs at the Gateway of India may cost Rs 40 if a proposal by the ‘Tourist First’ initiative is agreed upon by the photographers’ association.
A revised rate card will be displayed for tourists. According to the proposal, a single picture will cost Rs 40 and an additional copy Rs 30. The 200-odd photographers will also be issued identity cards and uniform in a fortnight, said Tourist First Project co-ordinator Nilesh Kumar. “The first batch of 125 uniforms have been distributed. The rest will be given within a fortnight,” Kumar said.
The idea is to regularise their work and improve the quality of the photographs. Currently, photographers charge between Rs 30 and Rs 40. Some of them even charge Rs 50 for a single photograph. “We have been in talks with the association since June and hope to come to an agreement in the next 10-15 days,” said tourist first project co-ordinator Nilesh Kumar.
The proposal also includes a plan to e-mail each photograph for Rs 20 and charge Rs 15 for subsequent pictures. A CD of 50 photos will cost Rs. 750, Kumar said.
The photographers will also be equipped with Epson printing cartridges, made available at a subsidised price.
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“The cartridges they use currently are second-hand and produce very low quality photographs, some of which do not last more than months. Tourists frequently complain that they are cheated by the photographers,” said Kumar.
Epson cartridges, he added, would be made available at Rs 100 less than the current market price of Rs 1,300 per unit to begin with, he said.
Also planned are social security benefits that would include medical insurance to the photographers.
“Tourists will get quality pictures. We are happy with the rate proposed. It will ensure a good experience for tourists,” said Bipin Chaudhary of the social and welfare association of photographers.
Photographers are also being given training in soft skills. It has also been proposed to equip them with first aid training, fire fighting, crowd control and assisting the police in event of a terror strike, Kumar said.