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SC pulls up ASI for failing to take steps to protect Taj Mahal

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed its displeasure at Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and asked ASI what measures it had taken for the proper upkeep of Taj Mahal.

SC pulls up ASI for failing to take steps to protect Taj Mahal

"This situation would not have arisen if the ASI would have done its job. We are surprised with the way the ASI is defending itself. You (Centre) please consider if the ASI is needed there or not," a bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta told Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, who was appearing for the Centre.

The counsel for ASI told the court that the problem of insects was due to stagnation of the water of river Yamuna. The top court has been monitoring developments in the area to protect the monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631. The mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In March this year, the apex court had asked Uttar Pradesh government to place before it a draft of vision document on protection and preservation of the Taj and the environment in the Taj Trapezium Zone, which 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 in Rajasthan.

(with PTI inputs)

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