The Supreme Court today slammed the centre and its authorities for thier ‘lethargy’ in taking steps to protect Taj Mahal,dubbing the issue of preserving the historical medieval structure a “hopeless cause”.
The apex court also expressed anguish over the Uttar Pradesh government failure to come out with a vision document to preserve and protect the Taj Mahal.
It directed the Centre to furnish full details of the steps taken and action required to be taken for iconic monument.
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition that calls for proper maintenance of the Taj, a 16th century mausoleum that draws thousands of tourists from India and abroad each year and is a must-see on the itinerary of most dignitaries.
“The Taj is more beautiful than the Eiffel Tower”, and could have solved the country’s foreign exchange problem,the judges noted.
The Centre told the bench that Indian Institute of Technology,Kanpur was assessing air pollution level in and around the mausoleum and will give its report in four months.
It 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.The Bench is to hear the matter on day to day basis from July 31.
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to overturn a ban on outsiders entering the Taj Mahal complex in Agra for namaz or Friday prayers,asserting that the monument is among the seven wonders of the world and hence needs to be protected.
According to PTI report, the Bench comprising Justice A.K Sikhri opined that there are several other mosques in Agra where those from outside the town can offer prayers.
“The Taj Mahal is is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and we do not want this to decimate.We are dismissing it .There are other mosques also.They can offer their prayers there.”,the bench quoted as saying.
The District Administration had ,on 24 January this year,ordered that only locals with valid identity proof will be allowed to enter the Taj Mahal complex to offer namaz on Fridays.