UP govt suggests Supreme Court to declare Taj Mahal area no-plastic zone

Yogi Aditayanth-led Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday suggested Supreme Court that the entire Taj Mahal precinct should be declared a no-plastic zone and all polluting industries in the region closed. The state government suggested this in its first draft report of a vision document on protection and preservation of the 17th-century monument filed in the apex court today. The matter was presented before the bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta today.

This came after an angry apex court lashed out the state government on July 11 for its apathy towards the Mughal era monument when today the vision document was submitted. The apex court has been monitoring development in the area to protect the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal at Agra in 1643. Here’s what UP government stated in the draft report: • The Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court that the entire Taj Mahal precinct should be declared a no-plastic zone

• The use of bottled water inside should also be prohibited

• The state government said all polluting industries in the region should be closed, while more tourism hubs should be created

• It said a comprehensive traffic management plan was needed to promote pedestrian movement in the Taj heritage precinct

• The draft vision document also said roads along the Yamuna riverfront should be planned so traffic is limited and pedestrian movement encouraged

• According to the government, there should be no construction on the Yamuna floodplain and the riverbank should only have natural plantations

During the hearing earlier this month, the bench had drawn a parallel between the Taj Mahal and Paris’ Eiffel Tower, saying the mausoleum was perhaps more beautiful, but India continued to lose tourists and foreign exchange due to the situation prevailing there. The court had said the affidavit filed by the Centre giving some details of steps taken was “absolutely of no consequence” and it should specify every step in detail, along with a time- frame and responsibility and accountability of the concerned departments. It had said steps taken by the authorities appear to have a “negative effect” on Taj.

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