Supreme Court slams Centre for 'lethargy' over upkeep of Taj Mahal

Blanche Robertson
July 11, 2018

The Taj Mahal is one of the world's leading tourist attractions.

The Taj "is more lovely than the Eiffel Tower" and could have solved the country's foreign exchange problem, the judges noted.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre and authorities for not acting fast to protect Taj Mahal, reported PTI. The Taj "is more handsome than the Eiffel Tower" and could have solved the country's foreign exchange problem, the judges noted.

Comparing the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Taj Mahal, the judges said: "Eighty million go to watch Eiffel Tower, which looks like a TV Tower".

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In May this year, the court had already instructed the government to seek foreign help to fix the "worrying change in colour" of the marble structure. "Do you realise the loss cost to the country due to your apathy? There are so many monuments". Observing that the issue of preserving the Mughal-era structure was a "hopeless cause", the apex court expressed anguish at the Yogi Adityanath-led government's failure to produce a vision document to protect the iconic heritage site.

A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said no concrete steps have been taken by the government, despite a parliamentary standing committee report on Taj's protection.

Also, the chairman of the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) was to explain the violation of the court's ban on the expansion of industrial units in the zone. The court has now said that it will begin daily hearing in the matter starting July 31.

Earlier in May the same court had directed the federal and provincial authorities to appoint worldwide experts to rectify the "serious colour change" in the Taj's once gleaming white marble due to continuing pollution levels.

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