The proposals were shared with the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a draft “vision document” for preservation of the Taj.
New Delhi: To bring back Taj Mahal to its pristine glory, the Uttar Pradesh government proposes to declare the 17th century monument’s precincts a no-plastic zone, restrict traffic movement and shut down polluting industries in the region. The proposals were shared with the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a draft “vision document” for preservation of the Taj.
In an affidavit filed before a bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, the state government said that use of water bottles in the Taj complex may be curbed.
The court had in the last hearing pulled up the state for not taking proper steps to preserve the Taj and expressed anguish by saying “either preserve or demolish the Taj”.
The state government’s draft “vision document” suggested that all polluting industries in the region should be closed. It said a comprehensive traffic management plan was needed to promote smooth movement of pedestrians.
“A scientific landfill site should be identified and constructed outside the city with waste composting and waste to energy components added to it,” it said, adding that tree cover needed to be increased in Agra city.
The document suggested that roads along the Yamuna riverfront should be planned in a manner that limits vehicles. It also called for a construction ban on the Yamuna floodplain and promoting natural plantations on river banks.
The document prepared by Delhi-based School of Planning and Architecture said that plying of “polluting and private vehicles” in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and traffic movement along entry and exit points in cities of tourist attractions such as Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan and Govardhan should be “restricted”.
The state said that the unprecedented increase in the number of private vehicles, particularly two wheelers, needed to be curtailed with the objective of improving environmental quality.
The Taj Trapezium Zone is an area of about 10,400 sq km spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur district of Rajasthan.
The apex court, which is 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, would take up the matter on a day-to-day basis from July 31. The ivory white marble mausoleum is a Unesco World Heritage Site.