Indian Supreme Court says govt failed to protect Taj Mahal

The Indian Supreme Court has criticised government failures to protect and preserve Taj Mahal in Agra.

BBC News reported that the Supreme Court has issued statements saying that federal and state governments have been not played their part in combatting the monument’s deterioration.

The court said the governments at both levels have exhibited ‘lethargy’ in deploying strategies to preserve the structure. The court was responding to a petition that cited environmental concerns regarding the negative effects of pollution on Taj Mahal.

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The 17th century monument is among the world’s most prominent tourist attractions and draws around 70,000 visitors each day. According to court statements in May, the iconic white marble tomb has experienced colour changes over time—going from yellow to brown and green.

The Supreme Court had instructed the government in May 2018 to seek foreign aid in the restoration of the marble surface. The monument’s marble structure has experienced a “worrying change in colour” according to the court.

The leading causes of the discolouration of the monument are said to be pollution, construction and insect excretions.

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Sewage in the Yamuna River, which runs next to the tomb, is said to attract insects. The insects in the vicinity then excrete waste on to the walls of the monument, effectively staining them.

The government informed the court that a special committee has been made to propose measures for pollution management in the area.

In a bid to combat pollution, the government has already closed thousands of factories in the vicinity of the monument. However, activists still say the white marble of the monument continues to lose luster.

This article originally appeared on BBC News. 

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