An online system of booking for tours of Rashtrapati Bhavan was launched by Secretary to the President Omita Paul Friday, said an official communique.
Interested persons can log on to website www.presidentofindia.nic.in from Friday and register themselves in the ‘online booking’ system for visits post-Jan 1, 2013.
Beginning next year, Rashtrapati Bhavan will be opened for public viewing on Sundays too and for increased hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. without any lunch break.
Presently, it is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Entry is free.
“President is a man of strong democratic tradition and humble beginning. He would like to have as many people come and see life at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He has instructed all the staff to make the President House accessible to people,” Venu Rajamony, Press Secretary to the President,said.
Two routes for such visits have been created and visitors can choose between them.
The first route will cover Forecourt, Reception, Lutyens’ Gallery, Marble Hall, Kitchen Museum, Children’s Gallery, Gift Museum, Durbar Hall, Library, Long Drawing Room, North Drawing Room, Ashoka Hall, Loggia and Banquet Hall. Brief details of each of these places are on the Rashtrapati Bhavan website.
The second will include all the above-mentioned places and the Mughal Gardens.
President House will provide guides.
“Visits can be booked up to 30 days in advance. On-line Booking provides time-slot options starting from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also indicates the available days for visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Each time-slot will be available for up to 50 visitors. In case of school children visits/group visits, this restriction will not apply,” it said.
After on-line booking, within two working days, confirmation will be sent by email. The status of the booking can be checked on-line using the registration number and date of birth.
In case of cancellation of tours due to other official engagements in Rashtrapati Bhavan, information will be sent by email to those who have booked tours.
“The system will operate on first come-first serve basis. Those who do not have email facility or access to the Internet can continue to follow the existing system of writing to Deputy Military Secretary, Rashtrapati Bhavan,” it said.
According to President House, the online booking system will cut down on paper communication and is environment-friendly.
“It will make management of visitors more efficient and provide visitors with a wide option of time-slots. The system has a tour guide management module, which will also be functional from January 1, 2013, using which guides will be allocated to each group of 50 visitors,” it added.