Footfall at ASI-protected monuments in the capital remained sparse even on the second day of their reopening, Tuesday. The historical sites were opened to the public after nearly four months, having been closed on March 17 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the monuments and their lawns remained largely desolated, the overcast sky, splashed with all shades of blue and the cool breeze, ensured the return of the regular visitors — young couples. Although fewer in number, they could be seen in corners, eager to reclaim the public space for some private time.
For many, it was the first time outdoors after a long period restricted to their homes. At Humayun’s Tomb, where 62 people had visited till around 3.30 pm, compared to 56 on Monday, Shubhransh Bharadwaj (21) was strolling with his girlfriend, the mask pulled down from his face.
“In the last couple of months, we have been at home. I haven’t gone out anywhere except to the market. I have wanted to come here for a very long time, and when I heard the monument has reopened, we decided to come. We aren’t wearing masks inside because there are hardly any people,” said Bharadwaj, who had travelled all the way from Faridabad.
Ankit Singh Negi (21) and Razia Ansari (20) too decided this would be a good time to visit the monument. “The weather is lovely. This is the right time to visit and spend some time together,” said Negi.
Entry to all monuments in Delhi is available through e-ticketing. Hand sanitisers are installed at the entry gates and thermal temperature is measured before visitors are allowed inside. Masks are mandatory.
At Purana Qila, as an additional measure, the temperature of visitors is noted down along with their personal details, and they are told to be out of the premises within 30 minutes. The monument saw around 30 visitors on Tuesday, compared to around 25 on Monday.
Qutub Minar, which saw around 100 visitors till 5 pm, compared to 113 on Monday, also looked largely deserted, barring couples sitting on stairs or clicking selfies. Aparajita Singh (31) and husband Anurodh Samal (36) had come with their four-year-old son. “I felt coming here was less risky compared to going to a mall or marketplace. It was also a good place to bring my son,” said Singh.
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