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Are Taj Mahal's minarets tilting?

November 25, 2004 20:21 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to the Centre, the Archaeological Survey of India and the Mission Management Board on a petition alleging that violations of environment norms around the Taj Mahal have resulted in the tilting of its minarets.

The Mission Management Board is a monitoring and implementing agency for the upkeep of the Taj. It is headed by chief secretary, Uttar Pradesh.

The petition, filed by advocate Ajay Agrawal, was heard by a Bench comprising Justice Ruma Pal, Justice S B Sinha and Justice S H Kapadia.

Agrawal, quoting various studies, said that between 1940 and 1965 the minaret on the south-east side of the Taj tilted the maximum by 0.5 inches, while the other three showed a tilt of 0.1 inch.

He said the foundation of the monument, on the banks of river Yamuna, is based on seven wells and it is filled with stones and lime mortar. The degradation of the Yamuna, which now resembles a dirty drain, has created imbalance in the foundation of the monument, he said.

The petition sought a direction to the Centre, the Uttar Pradesh government and the Mission Management Board to start work on the Agra barrage, which would ensure the flow of clean water into the Yamuna.

More reports from Delhi
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