I would like to bring your attention to horrendously shameless practice run by Forest ticketing guy at the entrance of Keetham lake in Agra. Recently UP Tourism started to promote Keetham as a tourist attraction in Agra primarily because of Bear Habitation center which was recently opened for tourists. Still Keetham is pretty much far from tourist's itinerary and precisely for good reasons.
I decided to have a quick afternoon trip to Keetham lake to have a look at Bear habitation and reached to the entrance. I have visited Keetham couple of times in the past and there was no hassle to visit. Now there is a huge barrier at the entrance of the Forest reserve and a forest ticketing guy sits with bunch of goons.
I asked them to give us the ticket for us and for our vehicle. Total cost of these receipts (30 INR per adult and 20 for 2 wheeler) was 80 but ticketing person asked me to pay 100 INR. when i asked him why he is taking extra 20 INR then he started to give me senseless arguments like its some special day etc etc. When I indicated my journalism background then this guy said that pay me in change. why did you give me 100 INR ?.
I was about to give them 80 INR change and then goons siting around the ticketing guy stood up and said that we are not allowing to enter. Do whatever you can.... We do not pay heeds to anyone..
Keetham is little far from Agra and does not witness huge number of visitors unlike other attractions thus its easy to run this illegal practice and loot tourists on every ticket. they are shamelessly doing it open and demolishing whatever remained reputation of Agra as a tourist unfriendly city.
Date: 24th October 2015
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Place: Entrance of Keetham bird sanctuary
Dear Chief Minister: I know you are trying very hard to revive reputation of Agra but I would expect you to do some work on the ground to make these people little hostile (not hoping them to be tourist's friendly) to tourists. This deep rooted corruption in every single department is definitely damaging your efforts.
Here are few snaps I have taken so that it can reach to the concerned department for further action.
If you are someone (From Forest Department, Media, UP Tourism) who can take corrective measures to stop this illegal practice or can take action against these guys or sincerely care about promoting tourism then let me know your action plan on firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to provide my testimony which can help fixing this issue for permanent basis.
Old man in Khaki dress is making tickets. Man in check shirt is the one asking extra money and extremely rude. Others are also supporting these 2 guys and seems not related with forest department.