- Sustainable Tourism Plan for Agra City – An Attempt to Tackle the Pulsar Effect of Taj Festival    click here to open paper content24 kb
by    Bandyopadhyay, Piyali | piyali007@go.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Taj Mahal in Agra City is attracting 10,000 tourists per day and during Taj festival, it becomes about 1.3 lakhs. This demand for additional pressure on infrastructural facilities suffocates the city. This paper highlights the sustainable tourism development plan for Agra to cater the pulsar effect.
Taj Mahal is one of the most visited architectural monument in the world, compared with Pyramid in Egypt, the Vatican in Rome and Eiffel Tower in Paris. King Shahajahan built Taj Mahal in 17th Century A.D. on the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. It is located in Agra city of Uttar Pradesh State of India. In and around Agra in addition to Taj Mahal, there are three more world heritage sites viz. Agra Fort, Fatepur Sikri and Bird sanctuary at Bharatpur. Other than these Akbar tomb at Sikandra (in proximity to Agra) and the Imtab – ud – Daula’s tomb in Agra are proposed to be the world heritage site. The origin of the city took place during Mughal period. Since then the city is continuously growing in respect to area and population. The present population of Agra city is 11,47,000 and in combination with this the city caters 10000 tourist population per day. ‘Taj Festival’ is a cultural fair being celebrated on last week of January for h a duration of fifteen days . During this festival period near about 1.3 lakh. tourists visit Agra.

In regular life Agra city has acute shortage of physical and social infrastructure facilities. Its total road length is 142 km, out of which only 75% is two lanes. Roads are very narrow and vehicle are mixed in character. There is no organized tourist circuit. Tourist comes in day time and leave during night because the hotels are not adequate to meet the demand of the regular tourist influx. Per day electricity deficiency is about 250 MVA and water is of very poor quality with high concentration of iron, coliform, chlorine. Roads are always congested with very slow traffic movement. The air quality is very poor with SO2, NOx and SPM concentration above permissible limit. The town has per day uncollected solid waste of 450 tones. In respect to the social infrastructure of tourism, there is no organized tourist information system. Most of the tourist spots like Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandra are unknown to the common tourist, therefore Taj Mahal is always overloaded. There is lack of medium status hotel, that is why tourist prefers to avoid night stay. The above mentioned situation represents the regular life of Agra city when the per day tourist flow is 8000 – 10000. But during the Tal Festival, when tourist inflow increases by more than 10 times the city becomes suffocated with the tourist population and its infrastructural demand. Its present infrastructure remains far behind to meet the demand. During the festival period roads become more congested, very slow movement of vehicle, as a resultant of this air pollution increases. Electricity, water supply can’t meet the demand. There is lack of space for accommodation, no special traffic route for VIPs.

The present study is an attempt to understand the pulsar effect of Taj Festival on Agra city and proposed strategies to deals with high demands and reconcile peak with the post peak period. The paper also analyses the tourist character, nature of infrastructural deficiency and environmental stress. And in the last paper discussed the sustainable tourism management plan to handle the pulsar effect during Taj Festival.

Sustainable, tourism management plan, infrastructural facilities
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