Many of us have either already been there or hope to go there some day. The emblem of love in India, the Taj Mahal has attracted many people, even from other countries. It is in fact, a tradition for visiting dignitaries to visit this 16th century mausoleum. Many films and songs have been shot in its vicinity to symbolise the love between two people.
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To those who still don’t live, Shah Jahan built this marbled wonder for his wife and love Mumtaz Mahal. Located on the banks of Yamuna, it is an architectural wonder, with perfect symmetry, pietra dura carvings of semi-precious stones, and a design that was meant to withstand any natural disaster.
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But one wonders whether its builders knew that one day, the Taj Mahal would fall prey to human activities like industrial pollution. Now after repeated efforts and judgements, the Supreme Court seems to have given up, and called its preservation ‘a hopeless cause.”
Pollution has caused the monument to turn yellow over the years despite the court’s continuous monitoring efforts. The court has earlier banned all polluting industrial units in and around the monument.
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It gave an ultimatum to the Central government, warning them that they should restore the structure or demolish it. The Supreme Court criticised the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to prepare a vision document to preserve and protect the monument. It directed the Centre to furnish details of the steps taken and the action required to protect the structure.
The judges even took a jibe by comparing the Taj Mahal to the Eiffel Tower. They said that 80 million people go to look at the Eiffel Tower, which looks like a TV tower. And still, we don’t preserve the Taj which is much more beautiful.
The Centre told the court that Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, is assessing the level of air pollution near the monument and will submit its report within four months. It said a special committee has been set up to find the source of pollution in the area.
As the country awaits action by the government to protect a national pride, the Supreme Court seems to be fed up with inaction.