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SC raps Yogi Adityanath govt over Taj Mahal maintenance, directs it to file fresh vision document for world heritage site

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Published: February 13, 2019 2:57:52 PM

The Supreme Court in 1996 had banned the use of coal/ coke in industries located in the Taj Trapezium Zone

In 1983, UNESCO declared Taj Mahal a World Heritage Site and was cited as ?the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.? (File)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for the poor upkeep of the historic Taj Mahal and asked it to file a fresh vision document within four weeks with respect to the steps it wanted to take in this regard, news agency ANI reported. The top court has been monitoring development in the area to protect the world heritage site built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal at Agra in 1643.

In November 2018, the apex court had told the UP government that the vision document on the Taj Mahal, being prepared by the Delhi School of Planning and Architecture, should be made public and added that there is nothing secret about it.

Supreme Court had in June last year slammed the state government for filing a draft report of the vision document on protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal and asked whether the apex court was supposed to vet it. The court had even said that it was surprising that the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), responsible for the protection of the monument, was not consulted in framing the draft report.

In 1983, UNESCO declared Taj Mahal a World Heritage Site and was cited as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.”

The Supreme Court in 1996 had banned the use of coal/ coke in industries located in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) with a mandate for switching over from coal/ coke to natural gas, and shutting down or relocating them outside the TTZ, which is an area defined by the government around the Taj Mahal to protect the monument from pollution.

Meanwhile, Yogi government has cleared decks for introduction of metro-rail in the Taj city with the state government allocating Rs 175 crore for the project. This comes after clearance from the Public Investment Board. The project is expected to significantly ease traffic in Agra, which has long been struggling with poor and inadequate means of public transport.

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