Miffed at Mayawati government's response in dealing with the environment threat posed to the historic Taj Mahal, the Supreme Court on Tuesday wondered whether it was duty of courts to ensure safety of monuments in the country.
"The monument is in your state. But this is how you take care of your monument? Is it the duty of the Supreme Court to take care of it? No one seems to be interested," a bench of justices D K Jain and A R Dave lamented.
The apex court made the observation while directing the State and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to file within two weeks additional affidavits on the steps take to protect the ancient monument from perceived threat to its foundation due to inadequate supply of water from the Yamuna.
The bench expressed its displeasure at the affidavit filed by the State in pursuant to its October 14 direction on the issue. "We do not understand anything from your affidavit. You have not stated whether you are getting sufficient water from the river," the bench said.
The apex court also wanted the latest survey report pertaining to the monument conducted by the ASI and the Central Building Research Institute to be placed before it by the date of the next hearing.
Counsel Vijay Panjwani, appearing for the Central Pollution Control Board, complained that the State was consistently ignoring the directives of the apex court on protecting the monument.
Another counsel Ajay Agrawal said though the apex court had on December 30, 1996, given a directive to the state to construct a barrage for ensuring adequate water supply to the monument, no steps have been taken till date.