SC orders demolition of parking lot near Taj

SC orders demolition of parking lot near Taj

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed demolition of a parking lot, being built within a km of the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra.

The court’s order comes two days before the scheduled visit of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to the historic monument. A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta directed the Agra authorities to demolish the two-storey parking lot for tourists within four weeks.

The project was mooted by the previous Akhilesh Yadav government. When the matter came up for hearing, the apex court wanted to know the response from the Uttar Pradesh government. But it noted no counsel from the state was present.

On being informed by advocate A D N Rao, representing the Archaeological Survey of India, that no environmental clearance or prior permission from the Central Empowered Committee was obtained for raising the construction, the bench said the parking lot would be demolished.

Subsequently, Additional Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh government, Aishwarya Bhati, mentioned the matter before the bench seeking a recall of the order, but the court asked her to move an appropriate restoration application in this regard.

The court has been monitoring development in the area to protect the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz in 1631, on a plea by environmentalist M C Mehta.

DH News Service

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