Days after it wondered what would happen if the Taj Mahal lost its World Heritage tag, the Supreme Court Monday said the concern of the preservation of the monument should be larger than UNESCO’s.
“Our concern on Taj Mahal should be far greater than that shown by UNESCO,” the Supreme Court ruled.
During the hearing, the apex court said the Taj Trapzeium Zone Chairman and the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) were responsible for the maintenance and preservation of the world heritage monument.
A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta on July 26 had made it clear that somebody has to take responsibility for protection of the Taj Mahal and asked the Centre to notify it as to which departments of the central and Uttar Pradesh governments would be responsible for the maintenance and protection of the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ).
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) had told the Supreme court that it had provided UNESCO plan on Taj Mahal in 2013 and that ASI’s director general would be responsible for the monument’s maintenance.
The Supreme Court had earlier slammed the Centre, the Uttar Pradesh government and the TTZ Authority for their failure to restore the pristine glory of the Taj Mahal.
It had came down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government for filing a draft report of the vision document on protection of the Taj Mahal and observed it was “surprising” that the ASI, which was responsible for preservation of the ivory white marble mausoleum, was not even consulted in the process.