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NGT directs UP government to ensure no trees are cut near Taj Mahal

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Agra: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that no unauthorised construction activities are permitted and no trees are cut in the Eco-sensitive zone near the Taj Mahal.

Photo: marginalmatters.in
Photo: marginalmatters.in

In its interim order, the NGT on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to set the boundaries of the forest land and reserved forest areas in the 10,400 sq. km Taj Trapezium Zone in Agra, Mathura, and Firozabad districts.

The NGT was responding to the M.C. Mehta report on cutting of trees near the Taj Mahal and on forest land in Baburpur village’s Sikandra area.

M.C. Mehta, the commissioner appointed by the NGT, in his interim report said a preliminary survey suggested that there had been a “removal of forest area”.

The NGT said “The commissioner further submited that the area which has been affected by the deforestation is within 500 meters of the Taj Trapezium Zone, the green belt area created as directed by the Supreme Court of India, and adjacent villages which he visited.

“It is specifically mentioned in the report that builders have started raising huge constructions in these areas and even on the bank of river Yamuna.”

The NGT asked the state government to ensure that there was no cutting of trees or removal of any kind of greenery from the Taj Tapezium Zone.

NGT chairperson Justice Swatantra Kumar chided the Uttar Pradesh government for mis-managing Taj Mahal’s Eco-sensitive zone and allowing constructions in the Yamuna flood plains.

Environmentalists here welcomed the order and pressed for early action by district authorities to curb builders and colonizers who had grabbed huge chunks of Yamuna flood plains in Vrindavan, Mathura, and Agra.

The Braj Bachao Samiti in Mathura submitted a memorandum to the Mathura Vrindavan Development Authority to demolish all illegal buildings in the flood plain areas.

(IANS)

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Haryana Minister calls Taj Mahal a ‘beautiful kabristan’

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Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal. Wikimedia

Chandigarh, October 20: Joining the league of those making controversial statements on the Taj Mahal, senior Haryana Minister Anil Vij on Friday termed the marble monument as a “beautiful cemetery”.

“Taj Mahal ek khoobsurat kabristan hai,” Vij tweeted on Friday.

Vij, who is the cabinet Minister for Health and Sports in the BJP government in Haryana, is known for making controversial tweets and statements.

BJP leader Sangeet Som triggered a controversy last week by saying that the Taj Mahal was a blot on Indian culture. The Taj, a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of the world, is visited by lakhs of people from across the world.

In a damage control exercise, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said the famed monument in Agra was a part of Indian heritage and he is to visit it on October 26.

The 17th-century marble monument was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Both were buried at the Taj Mahal.

Adityanath, whose BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has been accused of ignoring Taj Mahal in the tourism booklet of the state, said that the monument was constructed “by the blood and sweat of Indian laborers”.(IANS)