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Taj Mahal ‘needs to be saved’

Taj Mahal has
been damaged
by pollution
CRITICISM: The Taj Mahal has been damaged by pollution

INDIA’S top court last Tuesday (1) sharply criticised the govern­ment for failing to protect the Taj Mahal, which has been changing colour because of pollution. The brilliant marble of the Taj Mahal – a UNESCO world herit­age site – has acquired a yellow tinge over the years. The colour of the marble “was first becoming yellow. Now it seems to be green and black,” a supreme court bench said after reviewing several recent photos of the monument. The Taj Mahal has been slowly yellowing because of smog in the region. Insects also leave green stains on its rear wall, which faces the heavily-polluted Yamuna River. Various methods – including using mudpacks to draw the stain from the marble – have been employed since conserva­tionists first raised alarm about the decay. Authorities also announced plans earlier this year to limit the number of visitors to reduce wear and tear. But that seems to have done little to stop the decay. “It appears that you do not have expertise or you have (it) but do not want to utilise it, or you do not care about (the Taj Mahal),” the court said. “You all appear helpless. Money should not be the consid­eration… We need to save it.”

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