The Supreme Court on Tuesday rebuked the Centre, asking why the Taj Mahal was “turning brown and green”, PTI reported. The top court suggested that the Centre take the assistance of archaeological experts from India and abroad to assess the damage to the monument, and restore it.
“We are concerned at the change of the colour of the Taj Mahal,” a bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta said, according to Live Law. “It became yellowish, then turned brownish and now its greenish. Why is it happening? What is going on?”
The bench made the comments after petitioner MC Mehta submitted photographs of the Taj Mahal, claiming polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area were contributing to the damage.
“We don’t know whether you have or perhaps don’t have the expertise,” the bench said, according to PTI. “Even if you have the expertise, you are not utilising it. Or perhaps you don’t care.”
Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni said the Archaeological Survey of India was taking measures for protection of the Taj Mahal. The Supreme Court fixed the matter for hearing on May 9.
The Taj Mahal, which attracts millions of tourists to Agra every year, is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site. In February, the Supreme Court had criticised the Uttar Pradesh and central government for not protecting the Taj Mahal. It had directed the state to submit a vision document on the monument’s preservation.