The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Archaeological Survey of India for failing to do enough to protect and preserve the Taj Mahal, PTI reported.
The court said the 17th-century monument was infested with insects, and asked authorities what steps they have taken to prevent this. The counsel for the Archaeological Survey of India told the court that the insect problem was because of the stagnant water of the Yamuna river.
“This situation would not have arisen if the ASI would have done its job,” Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said. “We are surprised with the way the ASI is defending itself. You [Centre] please consider if the ASI is needed there or not.”
Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, said that the Ministry of Environment and Forests was considering the court’s suggestion to appoint international experts to assess the damage to the monument and restore it. The court had made the suggestion in its previous hearing on May 1.
The court had rebuked the Centre then as well, and asked why the Taj Mahal was “turning brown and green”. In February, the Supreme Court had criticised the Uttar Pradesh government and the Centre for not protecting the Taj Mahal. It had directed the state to submit a vision document on the monument’s preservation.