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SC slams Centre for 'lethargy' over protection of Taj Mahal

13 July 2018

Justices M.B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta said no concrete steps had been taken by the government despite a parliamentary committee recommending steps on the monument's protection, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

It said that the committee had stated in its report that Taj Mahal is a national pride and heritage and multi-pronged approach was required to preserve and restore it.

"Now, we will make them (TTZ) bother as they are bothering us", the bench observed and told the counsel representing the industry chamber that the factories operating there should be shut down.

The top court on Wednesday had said that the Taj Mahal was even more attractive than the Eiffel Tower and came down heavily on the government for not looking after the architectural wonder.

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The Indian Supreme Court has slammed both the Uttar Pradesh and federal state governments on Wednesday for their failure of tackling the seventeenth-century monument's deterioration, as per the reports of Indian media. He said the Eiffel Tower was not considered as lovely as the Taj, yet it attracted millions of tourists. "Our Taj is more handsome".

Stating that the Taj was more lovely than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the court said the iconic monument could have solved the country's foreign exchange problem. "Do you realise the loss caused to the country due to your apathy?", the judges were quoted by IANS. It directed the Centre to file an affidavit in two weeks giving details of what has been done for protection of the Taj and what it meant to do in future.

The Supreme Court's observation came just a day after it rejected a plea seeking permission for outsiders to offer Friday namaaz inside Taj Mahal.

Only one monument, they said, could have solved the problem of the country.

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The top court said that it will hear the matter on a daily basis from July 31.

The court said the governments at both levels have exhibited "lethargy" in deploying strategies to preserve the structure.

The court also questioned the chairman of the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) - the 10,400 square kilometre region around the Taj Mahal - about why the court's ban on the expansion of industrial units in that area was contravened.

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SC slams Centre for 'lethargy' over protection of Taj Mahal