Centre to act on 'war footing' to preserve Taj Mahal and Yamuna river against pollution, measures include green fuels, ethanol industries

New Delhi: After being rapped by the Supreme Court over the condition of the Taj Mahal, the government on Monday said that it will take action on "war footing" to deal with air and water pollution in and around the world-famous 17th-century Mughal monument.

File photo of Nitin Gadkari. AFP

File photo of Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari. AFP

The assurance came after a high-level inter-ministerial meeting, chaired by Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari and attended by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma and state Minister Satyapal Singh, where the steps to tackle yellowing of the Taj Mahal and controlling Yamuna pollution were discussed.

Addressing a press conference, Gadkari announced that the Centre has decided to adopt several measures for preserving the heritage such as introduction of green fuels, E-buses, opening more ethanol industries and the cleaning of river Yamuna.

"To deal with air pollution, the use of bio-fuel, green fuel and electric vehicles will be popularised in Agra," he said.

"An ethanol policy will be introduced for Agra which will include conversion of bio mass to ethanol during the crop burning season and use of ethanol in auto rickshaws combined with introduction of mass rapid transport system as a part of policy of zero tolerance to pollution," he added.

A committee to be headed by headed by Union environment secretary CK Mishra will be formed to look into the issue of industrial pollution which will also include experts from NEERI, IITs and other environment-oriented organisations.

"The committee will study on a case-to-case basis and take a tough stand on hazardous industries in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal," the minister said.

To deal with the water pollution in the Yamuna, Gadkari said the cleaning of the Yamuna falls under the Namami Ganga project and several projects are already been taken up to make the river pollution free.

"(A total of) 36 projects of Rs 4,000 crore on the river Yamuna have been identified and it is hoped that the DPRs (detailed project reports) will be completed in next few months. Already 11 projects have started in Delhi on the river Yamuna and the tender for the 12th project will be finalised soon," he added.

Updated Date: Jul 31, 2018 08:10 AM

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