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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Chinese tourist arrested for flying drone over Taj Mahal, released

The tourist was later on released with a warning, after he submitted a written apology to the police.

Commenting on the incident, Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber President Prahalad Agarwal said that most tourists coming to the Taj Mahal are unaware of the restriction on flying drones near the Taj Mahal. “There are no signboards anywhere around the Taj Mahal that show that flying drones is restricted. Since drones are the latest in photography equipment, most tourists carry these drones with them to document their travel through India,” Prahalad Agarwal said.

Prahalad Agarwal said, “Even the Uttar Pradesh Tourism website on the Taj Mahal does not mention specifically about the prohibition on drones, which creates confusion among the tourists and consequently, the image of India and Agra gets tarnished because the tourists get arrested and have to face the police for something which is not a crime in their country. The non-government tourism organisations of Agra have come forward and they inform the tourists about this restriction, but the tourists that do not travel in groups and often without a travel agent’s assistance, often find themselves facing these problems.”

Photo capturing drone over Taj Mahal flown by Chinese tourist

Agra District Magistrate NG Ravi Kumar said that the hotels of Agra have been issued instructions to inform their guests about this restriction and warning boards are being put up in Purani Mandi and other areas around the Taj Mahal regarding this restriction. “This warning will also be placed on the Taj Mahal’s entry ticket and areas from where tourists are mostly found flying drones are being marked,” NG Ravi Kumar said.

Hindustani Biradari Vice-Chairman Vishal Sharma said that Mehtab Bagh and the Taj Heritage Corridor are places that are used most by tourists to take pictures of the Taj Mahal using a drone. “Signboards should be placed at a priority in these areas. The brochure on the Taj Mahal mentions a restriction on drones, but it does not mention at what points is the restriction effective. If these points are specified in the tourist information literature on the Taj Mahal, such unpleasant incidents could be avoided

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