Agra: Fifteen years after the Supreme Court of India announced a set of measures to protect the Taj Mahal and nearby historical monuments from air pollution, they still remain at risk.
A slew of initiatives have been taken and millions of rupees have been spent. A natural gas pipeline has been laid to supply clean fuel to industries in Agra and Firozabad,
diesel-run three-wheelers have been replaced by CNG-fuelled vehicles and heavy investments have been made in the Mathura refinery to reduce pollution.
But the ground realities haven't changed much, say the citizens of Agra. D K Joshi, a member of the committee set up by the apex court to see that its directives are carried out, says a lot has to be done before "one can say Agra has become environmentally safe for the Taj Mahal".
Increased commercialisation through tourism promotion is adversely affecting conservational efforts.
Images: Copyright AP. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Image: Muslims offer Eid al-Adha prayers at the Mosque inside Taj Mahal complex in Agra, India, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008.
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