Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal: UP submits vision document to SC

ANI | Updated: Jul 24, 2018 15:03 IST

New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): New Delhi [India], July 24 (ANI): The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday submitted its draft vision document to the Supreme Court on the restoration of Taj Mahal. The state government assured the Apex Court that it will take several steps for the conservation of the heritage structure. The proposed draft vision envisages declaring entire area near Taj Mahal a plastic-free zone including ban on bottled water, impose a complete ban on construction activities on the riverbed of the Yamuna and have better traffic management with more space for pedestrians.
The state government also said that it will soon develop a design to rehabilitate and relocate slums nears Taj Mahal and added that no permission will be given for construction in the reserved forest areas.
"Slums located in the precinct must be retained and different development model must be designed on the case to case basis. Citizens led incremental upgradation should be prioritized over rehabilitation or relocation. Any future development in the reserved forest area and its extension should not be allowed," the document submitted to SC reads.
 The state government also assured the Court that it will make efforts to cover the drains and a will design a green buffer besides taking necessary actions to clear the accumulated solid waste near the stretch of Yamuna river.
 "The river edges must be cleared from the accumulated solid waste and no untreated sewage discharge should be allowed throughout the stretch of river," the document reads.
The state government mentioned the matter before a bench comprising of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta. The move comes following the top court's observations on July 11 on the depleting conditions of the iconic monument.
In the document submitted to SC, the government said that they have formed this draft by developing a comprehensive and integrated action plan based on field visits, stakeholder consultations and reviewing ongoing/proposed projects in the region.
The Apex Court in 1996 had ordered the state authorities to conduct studies pertaining to the factors deteriorating the Taj Mahal. These studies indicated that there was a dire need to improve the air quality in order to save the Mughal mausoleum. Following the observation of these studies, the judicature ordered that the polluting units in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal be identified and found that scores of factories located near the monument are manufacturing glass, bangles by using coal as a fuel which is making the air polluted.
Later, the Apex Court directed the Gas Authority of India (GAIL) to supply cleaner fuel to these manufacturing units in order to make the air pollutant free. Also, in its 1996 judgment, the court had asked for many other things to be done such as creating a green belt, building a bypass for heavy traffic, imposing ban on brick kilns within 20 kilometers from the Taj.
It also directed the state authorities to supply uninterrupted power so that the use of generators is negated and imposed a ban on diesel driven, lightly-duty vehicles and three-wheelers within 500 meters of the monument.
Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in Agra, the iconic Taj Mahal was completed in 1643 but work continued on other phases of the project for another one decade. This Mughal mausoleum is now in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.(ANI)

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