The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted the Uttar Pradesh government time till November 15 to submit a vision document on the protection of Taj Mahal, reported PTI.
The top court had earlier given the state time till October 15 but it was extended on Tuesday after Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and advocate Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, sought an extension.
The Uttar Pradesh government told a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur that it would be difficult to declare entire Agra as a heritage city. The court then asked the state government to consider declaring certain portions of the area surrounding Taj Mahal as heritage areas.
The state government also informed the court that an Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology was assisting it on declaring areas surrounding Taj Mahal as heritage.
The matter has been listed for further hearing on November 29.
In August, the Supreme Court said the vision document should be prepared taking into account pollution in the Taj Trapezium Zone, and industries operating nearby. 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 had said.
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.
On July 24, the Adityanath government filed the first draft of its vision document.