New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government has deployed an air-purifier at the Taj Mahal to save monument — one of the seven wonders — from the wrath of pollution under which North India is reeling. The air-purifier van deployed by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board has a capacity to purify 15 lakh cubic metre air in eight hours within a 300-metre radius.

“Looking at the developing situation and consistent deterioration in air quality, a mobile air purifier van has been deployed at the west gate of the Taj Mahal,” Regional Officer of UPPCB Bhuvan Yadav told PTI.

At present, there is no continuous air monitoring station around the Taj Mahal to help calculate the AQI so the magnitude of how much air has been purified cannot be determined, the officials said.

Agra being an equally polluted city like Delhi, pollution around the Taj Mahal has been a cause of concern for a long time as it has been damaging the monument. Several reports revealed how the colour of the monument is turning into yellow because of the garbage-strewn river flowing by, dust and smog from vehicles, nearby factories.

In 2018, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had commissioned IIT-Kanpur to conduct a source-apportionment study and chemical speciation (chemical characterisation) of air pollution damaging the Taj Mahal.

The issue of the Taj Mahal’s pollution reached the Supreme Court as an SC bench comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta had said, “If Taj Mahal goes once, you will not get a second chance.” Though the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is responsible for the maintenance of the monument, it said it can’t save it from air pollution emanating from various sources.