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Taj Corridor now an animal graveyard, garbage dump

Sun, Mar 29, 2015, 01:04 PM
Agra, March 29 , 2015: The Taj Corridor, a vast wasteland situated along the Yamuna river and lying between two world heritage monuments, the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort, has now been reduced to a dumping ground for garbage and an unofficial burial ground for animals.

Foreign tourists have taken numerous images of bloated camels, swollen and stinking donkeys, dead dogs and heaps of fish bones along a stretch that is now a visually ugly sight and mars the scenery between the two great monuments visited by millions round the year.

"The Taj Corridor is an example of how we hardly care for our heritage and the tourism," a bitter Surendra Sharma, president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society, told IANS.

"Such an ugly sight near the world's most beautiful monument can be repulsive and nauseating," NRI Rajesh Kumar told IANS.

Despite the 2006 Supreme Court directive to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to green the wasteland, neither the Uttar Pradesh forest department nor the ASI has made any move to clear the debris and turn the area into a green lung. Once at the centre of a huge political furore, the ill-conceived Taj Corridor brought down the Mayawati government in 2003 on charges of corruption. The Supreme Court in the same year stayed construction on the site.

Agra Development Foundation President and eminent lawyer K.C. Jain told IANS: "In December 2005, the apex court constituted a committee of experts to give its recommendations. In February 2006, on the basis of this report, the Supreme Court directed the ASI to present a plan of action. Since then the matter has been hanging, despite promises by former tourism minister Ram Naik and present Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma."

"It is not our responsibility to clean up the area. We will ask the municipal authorities and send them a notice," the regional office of the UP Pollution Control Board said.

A district official told IANS: "The Taj Corridor is court property and we cannot interfere till the stay is lifted."
Agency: IANS
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