Que. India prides itself for being home to the Taj Mahal, a Wonder of ...
Feb 27, 2020
Que. India prides itself for being home to the Taj Mahal, a Wonder of the World and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. But the iconic monument’s white marble is slowing turning yellow. What are the reasons and what has the Supreme Court ruled?
Threats to the Taj
The once white marble of the Taj is slowly turning yellow and green due to several reasons.
Pollution - Toxic air of the city and its neighbours are one of the biggest reasons for stripping the Taj of its beauty. India is home to some of the most polluted cities in the world, Agra being one of them. And being covered in smog and dust for most part is taking a toll on the Taj’s white marble. Everything from the smoke from vehicles, to the soot and fumes from factories and rampant construction around the area of the monument is adding up to the decline.
Yamuna - The Yamuna river, on whose bank the Taj sits, is one of the most polluted rivers in the country. Excreta of tiny insects crawling in to the Taj from the polluted river is changing the colour of the marble. Tonnes of garbage found in the river, especially around the Taj, is not helpful either.
Several activists are also concerned about the falling water table of the city weakening the wooden foundations of the Taj.
The Supreme Court orders
Time and again the top court has instructed the state of Uttar Pradesh to take measures to restore the monument to its lost glory, including seeking help from foreign experts. The National Green Tribunal has also sought the response of the Archaeological Survey of India on petitions filed by individuals, to no avail.
In 2018, the Supreme Court handed an ultimatum to the government to either restore or demolish the Taj.
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