The Supreme Court on Wednesday used unusually harsh words to slam the Centre’s Narendra Modi government the Archaeological Survey of India for not doing enough to preserve Taj Mahal.
Terming their inability to protect the iconic Taj Mahal as a ‘hopeless cause,’ a bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Madan B Lokur said that it was a “sheer lethargy” on the part of the authorities.
“There is absolutely no willingness to protect the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal has to be protected. Either we will shut it down or you demolish or restore it,” news agency IANS quoted the bench.
According to news agency IANS, the court was extremely unhappy as the Uttar Pradesh government failed to come out with a vision document to protect the Taj Mahal.
The top court said that the Taj Mahal was more beautiful than the Eiffel Tower of France and was even capable of solving the country’s foreign exchange problem. It said, “80 million go to watch Eiffel Tower which looks like a TV Tower. Our Taj is more beautiful. If you had looked after it your foreign exchange problem would have been solved. Do you realise the loss caused to the country due to your apathy?,” the judges were quoted by IANS.
The apex court also expressed its dissatisfaction over the Uttar Pradesh government’s failure to come out with a vision document to preserve and protect the Taj Mahal, reported PTI.
The bench directed the Centre to furnish full details of the steps taken and action required to be taken for protecting the iconic monument. The Centre, for its part, informed the bench that Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur was assessing air pollution level in and around the mausoleum and will give its report in four months.
The Supreme Court’s observation came just a day after it rejected a plea seeking permission for outsiders to offer Friday namaaz inside Taj Mahal.