Taj Mahal turns yellow and green as it weathers filthy air in world’s eighth-most polluted city
India’s white-marble Taj Mahal is turning yellow and green as the 17th century mausoleum weathers filthy air in the world’s eighth-most polluted city
Agra: India’s white-marble Taj Mahal is turning yellow and green as the 17th century mausoleum weathers filthy air in the world’s eighth-most polluted city.
One of the seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal flanks a garbage-strewn river and is often enveloped by dust and smog from belching smokestacks and vehicles in the northern city of Agra.
Tiny insects from the drying Yamuna River into which the city pours its sewage crawl into the Taj Mahal, their excrement further staining the marble, an environmental lawyer told India’s Supreme Court.
The court slammed the government for not doing enough to preserve the monument, which was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
“If the Indian scientists and the (conservationists) can’t do the things, they should be able to contact foreign experts or conservationists, those who can come and they will be readily happy to help,” said lawyer MC Mehta, who has been fighting to save the Taj Mahal from pollution for three decades.
Restorers have been using a paste of a clay mineral to clean the marble. It pulls away impurities from the surface and can then be washed off with water.
Activists are also concerned that the falling water table in Agra may be weakening the wooden foundations. Other worries include roads clogged with polluting vehicles and rampant construction around the mausoleum.
Behind Taj’s back, plastic bags and garbage pile up by the river as smoke billows from a chimney in the distance. Outside the Taj complex, a group of people gathered near a funeral pyre.
The change in colour has not come out of the blue. Environmentalists and historians have long warned about the risk of soot and fumes from factories and tanneries dulling the ivory monument.
Tourists visiting the monument said they hoped steps will be taken to preserve it.
“I think the Taj Mahal is one of the biggest icons of India and I think the city would be better to be cleaner and for the government to do something about this,” said Francesco, a tourist from Argentina. “Because it is a shame, you know. Yeah!”
The 'Colonial Police Act 1861' is ineffective, outdated, cumbersome and has completely failed to secure rule of law, says petitioner advocate Ashwini Upadhyay
Watch: White House official Jen Psaki shuts down reporter who asked about Biden's stand on abortion rights
The US president had condemned the Supreme Court decision not to consider a Texas law that in effect bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy
'Cannot just scrap existing policy': SC rejects plea to direct Centre to start door-to-door COVID vaccination
The top court that to pass general directions in view of the diversity of the country is not feasible and practical