The government has not carried out any specific study to identify monuments across the country with regards to their vulnerability to climate change and air pollution, the Lok Sabha was informed today.
It has, however, identified world heritage icon Taj Mahal in Agra as a monument which needs to be protected from air pollution, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
“Taj Mahal in Agra has been identified as a monument which needs to be protected from air pollution. No nationwide exercise has been undertaken to identify specific monuments which are vulnerable to climate change and air pollution,” Javadekar said.
He said that to protect Taj, a Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) has been notified and restrictions have been imposed.
The existing industries have to strictly comply with the 1996 directions of the Supreme Court, and no new or expansion in the existing units is allowed within TTZ.
“The government has established Taj Trapezium Authority under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 for mitigation of pollution in TTZ area and to minimise adverse impact of pollution on Taj Mahal,” Javadekar said.
Amidst reports pointing at the discolouration of Taj Mahal, a parliamentary panel had recently recommended that a “multi-pronged” strategy must be adopted to preserve the “pristine beauty” of the monument.
Noting that diesel generators in the area around Taj Mahal are a major source of pollution “adversely” affecting the monument, the parliamentary panel has urged Uttar Pradesh Government to implement the Supreme Court’s directive for 24-hour power supply in the area, besides giving a host of other recommendations.