Delhi, Aug 29: The Supreme Court has said the vision document on protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal in Agra should be prepared taking into account issues like pollution in the Taj Trapezium Zone and industries operating there.
The TTZ is about 10,400 sq km spread over Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah districts in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur district of Rajasthan.
A bench headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur said authorities should look into the larger perspective while dealing with the issue of protection of Taj Mahal. The other judges were Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta.
'If Taj Mahal goes once, you will not get a second chance,' the bench said. Meanwhile the Centre told the court that they have communicated to the UP government to send a proposal to declare Agra a heritage city.
The UP government told the court that they will respond to the Centre's communication within a month. The Centre also informed the bench that the Archaeological Survey of India was in the process of preparing a heritage plan for Taj Mahal and the same would be filed with the Unesco within three months.
The bench has posted the matter for further hearing on September 25. Earlier, environmentalist M.C. Mehta, the petitioner, had told the court that nothing has been done by the authorities to prevent encroachment in and around the Taj Mahal.
The apex court has been monitoring development in the area to protect the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal at Agra. Its construction was completed in 1643 but work continued on other phases for another 10 years. The ivory white marble mausoleum is a Unesco World Heritage Site. (UNI)