The latest threat to Taj Mahal comes from insect poop
The highest elected official of the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the Taj Mahal is located, called the insect menace a matter of 'serious concern.'
Lucknow: Swarms of insects breeding in a polluted river near the Taj Mahal are threatening the intricate marble inlay work at the 17th century monument to love by leaving green and black patches of waste on its walls, archaeological experts said Monday.
Workers scrub the walls clean every day, but the regular scrubbing can damage the floral mosaics and shiny marble surface, said Bhuvan Vikram of the Archaeological Survey of India.
"A series of marble panels depicting plant motifs on the walls or reflective tiles used in this part of the monument are becoming disfigured," Vikram said.
Authorities are looking for a permanent solution to the problem created by the insects from the genus Goeldichironomus, a type of elongated fly that resembles a mosquito, that is proliferating in the polluted Yamuna River. The river has stagnated to the point that it no longer supports fish that once kept the insects in check, environmentalist Yogesh Sharma said.
In addition, heavy algal growth and deposits of phosphorus from ash dumped by a nearby cremation ground "are the primary source of food for this particular species of insect," said Girish Maheshwari, who heads the Department of Entomology at St. John's College in the northern city of Agra.
The highest elected official of the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the Taj Mahal is located, called the insect menace a matter of "serious concern."
The Taj Mahal, one of India's most cherished tourist attractions, brings millions of visitors to Agra every year. Archaeologists are also struggling to protect the monument from air pollution, which turns the marble yellow and brown.
"Officials have been asked to investigate as why there is sudden increase in number of these insects and how to control their population," Uttar Pradesh state spokesman Navneet Sehgal said.
The Taj Mahal was built by Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1654 for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and houses their graves and a mosque.
UP Board 10th, 12th Result 2021 DECLARED Updates: 97.88% students pass Inter exam; 99.53% clear high school
UP Board 10th, 12th Results 2021 DECLARED LIVE Updates: Uttar Pradesh UPMSP class 10 and 12 results available at upresults.nic.in, upmsp.edu.in, 99.53% students clear 10th exam, 97.88% in 12th exam
Barabanki road accident: 18 people died while 25 injured after a truck bus accident on Lucknow-Ayodhya National Highway in Ramsnehighat police station area of Barabanki district at around 1.30 pm on Tuesday
Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad declares Class 10, Class 12 results; check direct links here
The UPMSP witnessed 99.53 percent of Class 10 and 97.88 percent of Class 12 students clearing the board exams