New Delhi, July 26: The Supreme Court has slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for submitting the Taj vision document, reports said on Thursday. “Why have you filed a draft? Are we supposed to correct it,” the apex court said to the state. Instead, directed the apex court, the UP government should supply the Taj vision document to a panel of conservation experts, including the INTACH.
The SC also wanted to know from the Centre, represented by Attorney General KK Venugopal, whether authorities had submitted Taj management plans to Unesco’s World Heritage Centre. “What will happen if Unesco says that we will withdraw the World Heritage tag of the Taj Mahal?” the bench asked Venugopal. (Also read: There is no danger to Taj, Assures Mahesh Sharma)
The apex court was also amused that the Archaeological Survey of India, the body responsible for the protection of the Taj Mahal, was not consulted in framing the draft vision document. The Supreme Court told the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government to “identify one authority to take charge of the maintenance of the Taj Mahal as well as the redevelopment of the Taj Trapezium Zone”.
“There has to be one authority that takes charge. It seems that authorities have washed their hands of the Taj. We are in a situation where a vision document is prepared without the involvement of the Archeological Survey of India,” said Supreme Court Justice Madan Lokur, as reported by ANI. The SC has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to inform the apex court about the steps being taken by it for the restoration of the Taj Mahal by August 28. The Uttar Pradesh government had filed the first draft report of its vision document on protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal on Tueday and asked for the entire precinct should be declared a no-plastic zone.