Taj Mahal protection has become a “hopeless cause”, the Supreme Court said on Monday and announced it will hold daily hearings from July 31 on how to save the iconic monument from pollution. Expressing its dissatisfaction with efforts made for saving the Mughal-era monument, the apex court made a strongly-worded remark to the Centre – “Either you shut it, demolish it or restore it”.
The Supreme Court also expressed its anguish over the Uttar Pradesh government’s failure to come out with a vision document to preserve and protect the Taj Mahal. In February this year, the Supreme Court had directed UP government to file within four weeks a vision document for protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal. The top court had then also directed the state government to explain the sudden flurry of activities in and around the Taj Mahal and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ). It had further asked the state government to explain why leather industries and hotels were coming up there.
The bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta on Wednesday said no concrete steps were taken by the government, despite a Parliamentary standing committee report on Taj’s protection, PTI reported.
In its response, the Centre told the apex court that the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur is assessing the air pollution level in and around the mausoleum and will give its report in four months. Further, the Centre said a special committee has also been set up to find the source of pollution in and around the Taj, which will suggest measures to prevent it.
On July 9, the top court had rejected a plea seeking to offer Namaz at the Taj. It said, “This (Taj Mahal) is one of the seven wonders of the world and we do not want this to decimate. We are dismissing it (plea).”
Taj Mahal is considered as one of the seven wonders of the world and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (With agency inputs)