Supreme Court stays its order to demolish parking lot near Taj Mahal
The Supreme Court today stayed its order on the demolition of a car parking currently under construction Agra's iconic Taj Mahal and said that no further construction will be carried out there.
The top court asked authorities to maintain status quo at the site, located at a distance of about one kilometre from the eastern gate of the 17th century monument.
A bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and Dipak Gupta asked additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh govenrment to file a comprehensive policy on preservation and pollution in the Taj Trapezium Zone and nearby areas.
The Taj Trapezium Zone is an area of 10,400 sq km around the Taj Mahal and is aimed at protecting the ancient monument.
The additional Solicitor General told the bench that the government was committed to protecting the Taj Mahal and he will file a comprehensive policy regarding this before the court.
The top court fixed the matter for further hearing on November 15.
On October 24, the Supreme Court had ordered the demolition of the multi-level car parking which is under construction.
The Supreme Court, which is dealing with a petition filed by environmentalist MC Mehta, has been monitoring development in the area to protect the Taj Mahal.
In his PIL, the environmentalist has sought protection of the monument made of white marble from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area.
The top court had earlier passed a slew of directions to protect the monument.
The Taj Mahal was builtby Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631.
The historic mausoleum is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.