Friday, July 20, 2018

Top India court slams gov't for ignoring upkeep of Taj Mahal

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's top court on Wednesday slammed the federal government for a second time within weeks for being slow in taking steps to protect the Taj Mahal, the shining white monument to love.

The Supreme Court ordered the government to furnish full details of the steps being taken and action required for protecting the monument.

Last month, a judge told government officials they appeared to be helpless after an environmental lawyer argued that pollution and insect dung were discoloring the 17th-century building.

On Wednesday, the court expressed anguish over the Uttar Pradesh state government's failure to come out with a vision document to preserve and protect the Taj Mahal, which is located in Agra city in the state.

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.

The government attorney told the court that experts were assessing air pollution levels in and around the mausoleum and will give their report within four months.

The court set a July 31 date for the next hearing in the case.

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