The Supreme Court on Wednesday rapped the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government for its inaction in protecting the Taj Mahal. Observing that the issue of preserving the Mughal-era structure was a “hopeless cause”, the apex court expressed anguish at the Yogi Adityanath-led government’s failure to produce a vision document to protect the iconic heritage site.
The SC was hearing a petition that called for proper maintenance of the Taj Mahal, which attracts thousands of tourists from around the world every year. A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said no concrete steps have been taken by the state government, despite a parliamentary standing committee report on Taj’s protection. The bench asked the Centre to furnish details of what has been done and what is required to protect the monument.
The Centre, in its response, told the court that researchers from IIT Kanpur are assessing the source of pollution in and around the Taj, and will submit its reports in four months. It added that a special committee has been set up for the cause.
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Earlier this year, the SC had blamed the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) for its failure to take appropriate steps to protect the monument. It had also observed that Taj Mahal’s white marble turned yellow due to the pollution.
The bench said it will hear the matter on a day-to-day basis from July 31.