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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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Taj Mahal: Honey Bees at Historical Monument Alarm Tourists

A proposal with estimates of expenditure is pending at the headquarters for some months

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Though many complaints have been lodged by the visitors in the past, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has not taken the threat seriously. Pixabay

Honey bees at the iconic Taj Mahal and other historical monuments in the city continue to alarm tourists.

Though many complaints have been lodged by the visitors in the past, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has not taken the threat seriously, according to the tourist guides.

ASI sources said that a proposal with estimates of expenditure is pending at the headquarters for some months.

A local resident has even complained to the Ministry of Culture, demanding the immediate removal of beehives at the Taj which pose a threat to the safety of tourists.

Taj Mahal, Honey Bees, Historical
Honey bees at the iconic Taj Mahal and other historical monuments in the city continue to alarm tourists. Pixabay

Tourist guide Ved Gautam told IANS that beehives have always been there but precautionary measures were taken to ensure the safety of the visitors.

The one at the Mehmankhana (guest house) on the east side of Taj Mahal has always been there, as also the one at the entrance gate of Akbar’s tomb, Gautam said.

Old timers recalled several attacks by bees, which caused panic. Only last year, bees attacked visitors at the royal gate entrance to the Taj Mahal.

“Bees attack only when there is serious provocation from someone. In normal circumstances, they mind their own business,” a retired ASI staffer said.

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Not just bees, dogs and monkeys also continue to be a major nuisance at the Taj. Few days ago, photos of stray dogs loitering in the Taj were widely circulated on social media. Last year, there was a huge controversy over some CISF personnel being given catapult training to shoo away the simians. (IANS)