Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, has deteriorated when it comes to the monument shine and sparkle. The government should have taken the necessary action in time to avoid such a situation. But, it is never too late.
It is unfortunate that the proactive approach of the Supreme Court towards efforts to restore the Taj mahal to its pristine glory had not been mirrored by successive Uttar Pradesh and Union Governments, not to mention the Archaeological Survey of India which is primarily responsible for the upkeep of the medieval-era monument. As a result of the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities, the destruction of our national heritage has been an ongoing process — the once ivory-white monument has changed colour to a yellowish brown and portions of it are now covered in algae. This, despite the efforts of the top Court which has lost no opportunity to try and get the concerned authorities to do their job. It’s been almost three decades now that the apex court has been periodically rapping the authorities on the knuckles and asking them to initiate a slew of measures to protect the Taj to no avail. It was only when its patience ran out and the Supreme Court in deep anguish admonished the administration on 11 July telling it to either “shut” the Taj or “demolish” it that the Uttar Pradesh Government seems to have taken serious cognizance of the neglect of the Taj Mahal. It has now come up with a roadmap aimed at a long-term solution to preserve and protect the monument.
In essence, the document provides no radical new solutions. But even if the proposed measures are implemented in all seriousness, there will be several positive ramifications. The blueprint vows to come down heavily on polluting industrial units nearby, proposes to make the Taj complex and its surroundings plastic-free, and promises to put in place a traffic management plan for the Taj Heritage Precinct besides banning construction activities on the Yamuna flood plains. Indeed, the problem with the Taj is not just about its discolouration. It is more to do with the health of the Yamuna on whose banks the monument was built. The river is now practically ‘dead’ due to rampant illegal construction on its banks and the pollutants discharged into it from industries in its vicinity. An iron hand will be needed to implement the roadmap. The Uttar Pradesh Government’s proposal to allow the public-private model to explore opportunities in conservation, restoration and upkeep of the Taj Mahal, a template which has been a great success in European countries, is also welcome.
Writer and Courtesy: The Pioneer