Delhi-based School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) which is entrusted with the task of preparing a vision document for protection of Taj Mahal has told the apex court that the document would be ready within a few days. The Uttar Pradesh government has told the Court that it has paid 80 per cent of the fees, that is, Rs 51.89 lakh to SPA for preparing the vision document. The state government has promised to pay the balance amount as soon as the document is ready. The state government has also sanctioned Rs 6 lakh for three experts who have worked with SPA in the exercise. The Court has told the government to publish the contents as soon as it received the document from SPA.
The Centre had also informed the court that first draft of heritage plan for Taj Mahal, which is to be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was ready and it would be finalised within eight weeks.
The Centre, Uttar Pradesh government and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) are under fire from the Supreme Court for their failure to protect the monument from pollution. It may be noted here that the top court has been monitoring development in the TTZ to protect the Taj.
The TTZ is an area of about 10,400 sq km spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan.