Preventing pollution in and around the Taj Mahal

Supreme court directed Uttar Pradesh government to prevent pollution in and around the Taj and its preservation based on its critical observation.

Taj Mahal preservation

Taj Mahal, the iconic Mughal monument is facing natural deterioration as well as deterioration due to pollutants from vehicles and industries.

The structure made from white marble is facing greenish-black patches on several parts, these patches are a result of the release of faeces and dirt by an insect identified as Geoldichironomus (Chironomus calligraphus).

Geoldichironomus, the insect is attributed to the rising pollution in the Yamuna river passing by the monument.

Fuller's earth treatment : Herbal earth

In order to treat these patches, the monument is getting continuous mud-treatment using fuller's earth from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Fuller's earth treatment is a herbal earth that is applied on the patches to be washed out after 24 hours once dried, herbal earth absorbs all the impurities absorbed by the marble from the atmosphere.

However, activists has termed the treatment an eyewash while criticising the government and related agencies for not being serious about the preservation of the monument.

UP government's report

According to government's report recently submitted to SC, it recommends to create an "Agra city and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ)" consisting of five districts of Uttar Pradesh — Agra, Mathura, Firozabad, Hatras and Etah - and one in Rajasthan — Bharatpur.

TTZ, encompassing an area of 10,400 sq km should be declared a no-plastic zone, including the use of bottled water.

Additionally the report suggests to ban all untreated sewage discharge throughout the stretch of the Yamuna along with closure of polluting industries in the region.

Alternative non-polluting industries should be promoted with incentives and there should be a ban on construction on the Yamuna Flood Plains.

Way ahead
To overcome issues related to the high footfall, diversion of tourist and area segregation methods should be adopted to ensure the cleaning goes smoothly.

Various bodies maintaining the Taj should work in sync, roping in foreign agencies can be adopted while ASI working as the coordinating authority for the preservation activities.

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