Taj Mahal area should be no-plastic zone, polluting industries shut: UP to SC


New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government, in its first draft report of its ‘Vision Document’ on protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal submitted on Tuesday before the Supreme Court, suggested that the entire Taj Mahal precinct should be declared a no-plastic zone and all polluting industries in the region closed.

Support TwoCircles

The draft report was submitted before a bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta, which had earlier slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for not be able to come up with report to protect Taj Mahal that was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

For not being able to protect the iconic Taj Mahal, which is turning yellow, the bench has even asked the Centre and Uttar Pradesh governments to “shut it down” or “demolish or restore” the Mughal structure.

The entire Taj Mahal precinct should be declared a no-plastic zone, use of bottled water inside should be prohibited, all polluting industries in region should be closed, and more tourism hubs should be created, suggested the Uttar Pradesh government in its draft vision document.

The report further suggested that a comprehensive traffic management plan was needed to promote pedestrian movement in the Taj heritage precinct and roads along the Yamuna riverfront should be planned so traffic is limited and pedestrian movement encouraged.

There should be no construction on the Yamuna floodplain and the riverbank should only have natural plantations, it further stated.

The draft report was filed in a case filed by environmentalist M.C. Mehta seeking protection of the Taj from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area.

The Central government had earlier submitted that the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur was conducting an assessment of air pollution level in and around the Taj Mahal and Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and the report would be given within four months.

TTZ 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 district of Rajasthan.

The Uttar Pradesh government had also told the bench that it was also trying to take care of the environment around the structure so that the historic monument could be there for another 400 years and not just for a generation.