December 9, 2017 3:00:45 am
The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to come up with a “detailed and comprehensive vision document” that will protect the Taj Mahal for at least a couple of centuries. “In our opinion, a detailed and comprehensive vision document and plan with a futuristic perspective, which can protect and preserve the Taj and its environs and indeed the Taj Trapezium Zone, spread over six districts of Uttar Pradesh and district Bharatpur in Rajasthan, for a few hundred years at least should be prepared,” a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said while perusing an affidavit filed by the state government.
Appearing for UP, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and state Additional Advocate General Aishwarya Bhati told the court that the UP Tourism Deparment’s Principal Secretary had written to the School of Planning and Architecture to come up with a report in four months on the steps that could be taken to preserve the monument. The bench lauded the move, saying the school was a reputable institute, but added that it should consult experts in fields such as history and cultural heritage while drawing up the report.
“This exercise will require expertise from all stakeholders, including those concerned with cultural heritage, historical heritage, environment and wildlife, etc… and of course, prevention of pollution.” It also asked them to consult the petitioner M C Mehta, “who has spent more than 33 years in making efforts to protect the Taj and its environs”.
The ASG apprised the court of various measures taken by the Taj Trapezium Authority for the monument’s protection. The bench termed the measure “ad hoc” and said the need of the hour was to approach the issue from a “large, broad perspective”.
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