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Posted at: Jul 12, 2018, 2:13 AM; last updated: Jul 12, 2018, 11:20 AM (IST)

Restore Taj or demolish it: SC

Restore Taj or demolish it: SC
Taj Mahal. File photo

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11

Either restore it or demolish it, an angry Supreme Court said on Wednesday, piqued at the failure of government agencies in taking appropriate measures to preserve the Taj Mahal. “You can shut down Taj. Demolish it if you like… You can also do away with it if you have already decided,” a Bench said after a “vague” answer from the Ministry of Environment and Forest.

“Eiffel Tower gets 80 million visitors every year, eight times more than Taj Mahal and it is more beautiful than Eiffel Tower that looks like a TV tower. Due to sheer apathy of officials, this country is losing crucial foreign exchange,” said the Bench.

 “Do you realise the loss due to this sheer lethargy? Foreign exchange, infrastructure, everything is lost due to this. There is a loss to tourism. One monument can do it, but there is apathy,” the Bench told the ASG. The judges got angry after Additional Solicitor General AS Nadkarni said the Centre has set up a committee to hire external experts as advised by the court. He said it will find out the exact source of pollution in and around Taj, adding that three-four months were needed for preparing the report. 

“Uttar Pradesh is not bothered. There is no action plan or vision document. We want you to give us an action plan so to what you propose to do. We will hear it and finally dispose it (of). If it has to be shut down, let it be shut down,” the Bench told the ASG, who insisted the Centre was serious about the matter.

 As the matter was pending for years without any concrete progress on restoring Taj’s glory, it ordered day-to-day hearing from July 31. The Bench had earlier pulled up the Archaeological Survey of India for failure to take measures to protect the ‘monument of love’. 

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