SC ?quizzes UP ?on activities around Taj

SC ?quizzes UP ?on activities around Taj

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to place before it a vision document on the protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal.

The top court asked why there was a "sudden flurry of activities" in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ).

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 Bharatpur in Rajasthan.

A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta questioned Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, on why leather industries and hotels were coming up in the TTZ when such activities were stopped earlier.

"There is a sudden flurry of activities in the TTZ. Is there any particular reason for that? Leather industries and hotels are coming up there. Why? It should remain stopped. Why this activity is there in the TTZ?" the court said, hearing a writ petition filed by environment activist and lawyer M C Mehta.

The bench also asked the state government to file within four weeks a vision document on the protection and preservation of the 17th century mausoleum.

The court also questioned the state government's plea for cutting 234 trees in Agra for laying pipelines by saying, "Where is the land for planting trees? What about the mortality rate of trees already planted there?"

The court asked the state government to apprise it within four weeks on where land to plant trees was available in the area and also give details about the number of trees planted there.

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