Chennai: Restrictions imminent on ECR attractions as crowds increase | Chennai News – Times of India


CHENNAI: As tourists throng historical attractions across East Coast Road (ECR) on weekends, indications of a lockdown are imminent to check Covid-19 cases.
Monuments maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Mamallapuram and theme parks on the entertainment corridor are clocking record footfalls to the extent that the Chengalpet district authorities are now exploring options of banning entry for tourists or cutting down the visiting hours at these monuments.
Nearly 5,000 people visited ticketed monuments at Mamallapuram on Sunday — one of the highest turnout since the centrally protected monuments were reopened this year. Two weeks ago, about 4,200 tourists visited the Pallava era monuments.
A theme park without water sport activities on ECR recorded 700 visitors on Sunday. This footfall used to be around 2,000 during pre-Covid times on a weekend. Though ferry services at the TTDC boathouse at Muttukadu remains out of bound for tourists, people shot selfies on the pathway to the facility.
Mamallapuram-based tourist guide R Stalin said a majority of tourists were from Chennai and its neighbouring districts, and Puducherry.
“Tourists from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have dropped significantly… But the crowd that thronged Mamallapuram on Sunday did cause extensive traffic jam in the town,” he said. It appears that shutting down market places to check Covid-19 cases could have forced people to move to the tourist spots.
An official from the Chengalpet district administration said that special teams have been formed to identify any violation of Covid-19 protocols.
“We are also discussing with senior officers on stopping or reducing the timings for visitors. A final decision will be taken before this weekend,” he said.

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