Kannur City: The decision of the Archaelogy Department to charge entry fee from visitors to the St Anjelos Fort in Kannur City has attracted wide protests. As per reports, the decision taken by Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) and central Archaelogical Department has caused a dent in the number of visitor.
The decision has been seen as particularly objectionable as it did not bring any improvement in the facilities provided at the tourist attraction. The public feeling is that this will cause the number of visitors to fall further.
Built by the first Portuguese Viceroy in India, Don Francesco de Almeida (1505), St. Angelo’s Fort is among the most historic sites in Kannur. The massive triangular laterite structure is flanked by gigantic bastions that make for an imposing sight. Portuguese was granted permission for a settlement by the then king Kolathiri. Kolathiri also gave the Portuguese leader Francisco de Almeida permission to build a fort at the site.
It later was handed over to the Dutch and eventually the British, who would remodel and reequip it into their primary military stronghold in Malabar.
The fee collection started on Wednesday wth a make-shift counter and without building any facility for it. The fee charged is Rs 25 for any one above 15 years of age.
Regular visitors also have also started questioning the wisdom behind the decision. On holidays and Sundays, quite a lot of people come to spend time in the fort. The protests of such people are visible in social media.
Some critics have commented that the decision will only result in preventing people from seeing historic locations.
Further, the parking fee introduced will also act as a deterrent for visitors, plus adding to the public complaint.
The proceeds from entry fee will go the Presidents disaster relief fund.