New Delhi, July 26: Two days after Uttar Pradesh government filed the first draft vision document on preservation of Taj Mahal, the Supreme Court pulled up both the Centre and the state saying "It seems that authorities have washed their hands off the Taj".
The apex court asked Center and Uttar Pradesh government to identify specific officers and authority in charge of maintenance of the Taj Mahal and the redevelopment of the Taj Trapezium Zone.
"There has to be one authority which takes charge. It seems that authorities have washed their hands off the Taj. We are in a situation where a vision document is prepared without the involvement of the ASI," Justice M B Lokur
On the filing of the draft vision document, the top court said, "Why have you filed a draft? Are we supposed to correct it?"
The Supreme Court had earlier this month slammed the Centre for not taking steps to protect the Taj Mahal, dubbing the issue of preserving the historic medieval structure a "hopeless cause".
The apex court said that authorities have been lethargic towards the upkeep of the Taj Mahal. It had then criticised the Uttar Pradesh government for its failure to come out with a vision document to preserve and protect the monument.
A bench of Justices Lokur and Deepak Gupta had said no concrete steps have been taken by the government, despite a parliamentary standing committee report on Taj's protection. The Centre, in its reply, said that a special committee has been set up to find the source of pollution in and around Taj and suggest measures to prevent it. IIT Kanpur will also assist and assess the air pollution level in and around the Taj Mahal.