New Delhi: The Supreme Court today came down heavily upon the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government for not being able to protect the iconic Taj Mahal.
Dubbing the issue of preserving the historic medieval structure a “hopeless cause”, the apex court said, “Either we will shut down the Taj or you demolish or restore it.”
It directed the Centre to furnish full details of the steps taken and action required to be taken for protecting the iconic monument.
The court also expressed anguish over the Uttar Pradesh government’s failure to come out with a vision document to preserve and protect the Taj Mahal.
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.
‘Taj Mahal more beautiful than Eiffel Tower’
“Eighty million go to watch Eiffel Tower which looks like a TV Tower. Our Taj is more beautiful. If you had looked after it your foreign exchange problem would have been solved. Do you realise the loss caused to the country due to your apathy?,” observed the bench.
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 apex court said, it will hear the matter daily from the 31st of this month.
The Supreme Court had earlier this year blamed the Archeological Survey of India for its failure to take appropriate steps to protect and preserve the iconic monument built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.