Madurai: Observing that only a minimum fee for entry and parking has been collected from people visiting Agasthiyar falls into Tirunelveli district, the Madras High Court on Thursday rejected a plea asking authorities not to collect entrance and parking fees.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by SP Muthu Ramanactivist and resident of Tirunelveli district.
The petitioner said that several people from Tirunelveli and other nearby districts visit Agasthiyar Falls in Papanasam.
Previously, no entrance fees were collected from tourists. However, beginning the second week of March, Forest Department officials began collecting entrance fees from those visiting the falls. He said 5 is collected for children under five, 20 for ages between five and 12 and 30 for adults as entrance fees. Apart from this, 20 is levied as a parking fee for two-wheelers and 50 for cars and vans.
The petitioner stated that Forest Department officials do not have the authority to collect entry and parking fees from people. He said such power is only given to local authorities. A division bench of judges PN Prakash and R Hemalatha observed that such fees are imposed on tourists all over the world and rejected the plea.