The Centre on Monday set up a committee to address the matter of industrial pollution affecting the Taj Mahal, PTI reported.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari said the committee would comprise officials from the environment ministry, experts from the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, the Indian Institutes of Technology and other fora. It will be led by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Secretary CK Mishra.
The announcement came days after the Supreme Court pulled up the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre for not acting fast to protect the 16th-century marble mausoleum, and said its preservation was a “hopeless cause”.
“Either we will shut down the Taj Mahal or you demolish or restore it,” the court told the government on July 11. It was hearing a petition that called for proper maintenance of the monument.
Gadkari said the Centre respects the court’s observations and would take the necessary measures to address the situation. He made the announcement following a high-level inter-ministerial meeting where suggestions to tackle the various forms of pollution were made.
On July 9, the Supreme Court upheld the Agra additional district magistrate’s order barring those who do not live in Agra from offering prayers at a mosque in the Taj Mahal complex on Fridays. The order was passed on January 24.