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Agra cannot be declared 'heritage city': Centre to SC
August 29, 2006 12:38 IST
"Despite historical monuments like Fatehpuri Sikri, Agra Fort, Taj Mahal and numerous historical sites, the city cannot be brought under the scope of a heritage city," Solicitor General G E Vahanvati told a Bench comprising Justice S B Sinha, Justice S H Kapadia and Justice D K Jain.
Apprising the court of the Centre's view on the issue, the Solicitor General said that apart from these medieval sites there was nothing outstanding in the city to declare it a heritage city.
Vahanvati said the Centre and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had examined the court's concern following its December 20, 1996 order of developing Agra as heritage city.
The Uttar Pradesh government had also taken the stand that Agra lacks the criteria. The court wanted to know whether it was not possible to cover part of the city to declare it as a heritage city.
During the last hearing, the court was informed that UNESCO was eager to see Agra as a heritage city but this had not materialised due to some reason.
Meanwhile, on the issue of constructing a facilitation centre, the court said it would be better if some land is provided by the Agra Development Authority outside the boundary wall of the Taj Mahal.
Advocate M C Mehta, on whose public interest litigation the court is monitoring issues for protecting the monument, and advocate Krishan Mahajan, who is amicus curae in the matter have opposed the construction of a facilitation centre within the compound.