What is the threat to the Taj Mahal?
The Taj Mahal is threatened by an insect, identified as Goeldichironomus, which leaves greenish stains on its white marble surface through its droppings.
Since when has the Taj Mahal been affected by this insect?
The presence of the insect has been a recurring issue since 2015, with the exception of 2020 when lower pollution levels during the lockdown reduced their activity.
What conditions are ideal for these insects to thrive?
The insects are most active in temperatures ranging from 28 to 35 degrees Celsius. However, they have been present even with lower temperatures in Agra this year.
How are the insects affecting the Taj Mahal?
The insects breed in the polluted waters of the Yamuna river and are causing dark brown and green stains on the marble and inlay work of the Taj Mahal, particularly on the north wall.
What measures have been taken by ASI to address this issue?
The ASI has been cleaning the affected areas regularly with distilled water and cotton cloths to remove the stains and is conducting a detailed study to find a long-term solution to prevent the insect’s growth.
How long will ASI’s study take, and what will it involve?
The study by ASI’s chemical department may take a year or more and will involve understanding the breeding cycle of the insect, the conditions required for its proliferation, and determining methods to stop the insect from attacking the monument.