The National Green Tribunal has come down heavily on the Akhilesh Yadav government over dumping of solid waste in River Yamuna near the Taj Mahal, saying the state was unable to protect the 17th century monument from which it was making “millions”.
“You are government of Uttar Pradesh. You cannot protect the Taj Mahal from which you are making millions. You are dumping municipal solid waste in Yamuna just behind Taj Mahal. Can there be a greater insult to a monument which is a wonder of the world. It is shocking, what can the courts and tribunals do?” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The green panel made the remarks while reprimanding the UP government, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Agra Development Authority and Agra Nagar Nigam for not ensuring cleanliness and proper disposal of untreated sewage in the river.
The observation came while hearing a plea by Agra resident D K Joshi, who alleged that rampant dumping of municipal solid waste in Yamuna has resulted in stagnation of water in the river and consequent formation of greenish-black pigments on the iconic white marble due to breeding of an insect.
Joshi had claimed that dumping of waste in Yamuna has led to stagnation of the river and “consequently the explosive breeding of an insect called ‘Chironomus Calligraphus’ (Geoldichironomus), which is a biological indicator of water quality and localised water pollution.”
Referring to a report of the Archaeological Survey of India, the plea, filed through advocate Rahul Chaudhory, had said these insects are staining the walls of the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.