Taj Mahal ‘discoloured, insect prone’! Supreme Court raps ASI for failing to protect iconic monument

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New Delhi | Published: May 9, 2018 2:05:55 PM

The Archaeological Survey of India today came in for some serious reprimand from the Supreme Court over its failure to take appropriate steps in preserving the world-famous monument.

Taj Mahal, Supreme court, Archaeological Survey of India, asi, insects in taj mahal, india news, taj mahal agra,The Archaeological Survey of India today came in for some serious reprimand from the Supreme Court over its failure to take appropriate steps in preserving the world-famous monument.

The Archaeological Survey of India today came in for some serious reprimand from the Supreme Court over its failure to take appropriate steps in preserving the world-famous monument. The apex court expressed concern about Taj Mahal being infected by insects and asked authorities, including ASI, about steps taken to prevent it.

A bench of SC judges told Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni (representing the Centre) that this situation regarding Taj Mahal would not have arisen if the ASI would have done its job. The bench also said that they are surprised at how the ASI is defending itself and asked the Centre to consider if the ASI is needed there or not. The counsel for ASI told the court that the problem of insects was due to stagnation of water of river Yamuna.

Meanwhile, Nadkarni told the bench that the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) was considering the apex court’s suggestion to appoint international experts to look into the issue of protection and preservation of Taj Mahal.

On May 1, the Supreme Court expressed concern over the change of colour of the iconic Taj Mahal at Agra and said the monument had become yellowish earlier and was now turning brownish and greenish. The apex court suggested that the Centre take the assistance of experts from India and abroad to first assess the damage and then take steps to restore the historic monument.

On April 11, a 12-feet minaret at the entry gate of Taj Mahal had collapsed due to heavy rain and high winds. The metal pillar which was referred to as Darwaza-e-Rauza was situated at the entry gate and reportedly crashed as wind speed crossed 100 km per hour during a thunderstorm.

In March this year, the apex court had asked Uttar Pradesh government to place before it a draft of vision document on protection and preservation of the Taj and the environment in the Taj Trapezium Zone, which is an area of about 10,400 sq km spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan. The top court has been monitoring developments in the area to protect the monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631. The mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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