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SC accepts Taj restoration report
February 13, 2006 17:12 IST
The Supreme Court Monday accepted the report of a committee appointed by it to suggest measures for eco-restoration of the areas surrounding the Taj Mahal, in view of the damage caused by the controversial Taj Heritage Corridor Project during Mayawati's rule in Uttar Pradesh,.
A Bench of Justices Ruma Pal, S B Sinha and S H Kapadia asked the Archaeological Survey of India to come forward with suggestions within two weeks for implementation of the report. The court, however, did not pass any orders as to who would foot the Rs 42.5-crore bill estimated by the committee for eco-restoration, as it wanted the ASI to first file its response, noting that the organisation also received funds from international agencies for undertaking heritage restoration projects.
ASI counsel A D N Rao submitted that the government would work it out, whether the expenses would be borne by ministry of culture, the ministry of environment and forests or some other agency. Earlier, Amicus Curiae Krishan Mahajan told the court that the report had already been submitted and requested the court to pass appropriate orders. The committee report had, after conducting a detailed study with the help of satellite imagery of the project area, said that undoing the activity undertaken during the project could loosen the soil in the area, making it prone to erosion, "which might have an effect on the Taj that cannot be predicted". Instead, it suggested that the entire disturbed area be converted into a "dense green belt and rain harvesting system" with minimum construction relating to these activities.