The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought detailed suggestions from the Central Pollution Control Board, the Uttar Pradesh government and petitioner MC Mehta on steps that can be taken to preserve the Taj Mahal, ANI reported.
The Uttar Pradesh government had earlier submitted a list of polluting industries, but withdrew the list, calling it incorrect. However, Justice Madan Lokur criticised the Adityanath government, observing that if their information about the industries was incorrect, their vision document could also be wrong, Mirror Now reported.
The court said the vision document should be prepared taking into account pollution in the Taj Trapezium Zone, and industries operating nearby, PTI reported. The zone is an area of about 10,400 square km spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur district of Rajasthan.
“If Taj Mahal gets spoilt once, you will not get a second chance,” the bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, said.
Meanwhile, the Centre told the top court that it has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to send a proposal to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to declare Agra a heritage city. The counsel for the Adityanath government said it will respond to the Centre within a month.
Environmentalist MC Mehta, a petitioner in the case, earlier in the day told the court that the authorities have not taken any steps to prevent encroachment in and around the monument. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on September 25.
On July 24, the Adityanath government filed the first draft of its vision document. On July 26, the court asked the Centre and the state to identify one authority to to take charge of the maintenance of the Taj Mahal.
On July 11, the Supreme Court pulled up the Centre and state government for not acting fast to protect the monument. “Either we will shut down Taj Mahal or you demolish or restore it,” the court. Five days later, the Centre set up a committee to address the matter of industrial pollution affecting the monument.