THE UTTAR Pradesh government told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that it is “fully committed” to protecting the environment and ensure sustainable development in and around Taj Mahal and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ).
It also said it is actively considering a separate micro-level plan specifically for protection and preservation of the mausoleum. The provisions for protection and preservation of Taj Mahal have been included in the 2021 master-plan of Agra.
“…The state is fully committed to protect the environment and ensure sustainable development, specifically in and around the Taj Trapezium Zone,” the government said in the affidavit filed in response to an order by a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta. On October 27, the bench had directed the state to submit a comprehensive policy, if any, for preservation of the 17th-century monument and TTZ.
TTZ is spread across 10,400 sq km in Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah districts, and Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district.
The affidavit stated that UP “further undertakes to follow environmental law and all orders of this court diligently and faithfully to ensure balance of ecosystem of the Taj Trapezium Zone”.
The affidavit, filed by the Deputy Director of UP Tourism Department, said the state has approached the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to draw up a policy document to ensure a comprehensive and sustained environmental strategy for future activity in TTZ. NEERI, it said, has given a preliminary report saying the development of dust-free parking facilities for the Taj should be the immediate priority.
About the micro-level plan, the affidavit said UP government is considering engaging professional institutions in the field of environment protection and preservation.