The Supreme Court on Monday sent a clear warning to Uttar Pradesh government not to destroy the aesthetic beauty of Taj Mahal by poor quality of construction in and around the white marble mausoleum.
A bench of Justices T S Thakur and C Nagappan pulled up the state government for not giving attention to the finesse of the work and “messing up” the beauty of the Mughal architecture while perusing pictures of construction of a road in the back side of Taj Mahal. It wondered why the government has not been able to match the aesthetic beauty of Taj in new construction.
“If this is the finish work then your engineers should be ashamed of themselves. No body is giving attention to the details of the construction. How bills were passed for such construction? A proper probe should be done,” the bench said.
The Uttar Pradesh government assured the court that the aesthetic beauty of Taj will be maintained and the plan to construct 500 meter road was part of its beautification project of the monument. It said that red limestone would be used instead of tar to build the road.
“What is worrying and bothering us is the lack of finesse in the work. People from all over the world come to see the monument and any construction done near Taj should be as good as Taj. You messed it up. It is unacceptable,” the bench told the government.
“With chisel and hammer people created this wonder but today with all facilities and scientific knowledge you are not able to match the beauty of medieval time,” the bench said.
Advocate M C Mehta, on whose petition the SC has been monitoring the work near Taj for the last 31 years, objected the proposal and told the bench that height of the road would increase if the tiles would be used and rain water would come inside the Taj Mahal.
The bench asked the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) to respond whether UP government project would in consonance with the aesthetic beauty of Taj. “We are happy with the proposal to build the road but the choice of granite seems not to be right one. It may not last for a long time. Don’t make plan in pieces. You make a comprehensive plan which would not require change in the coming 50 years,” it said.
Taj Mahal was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1983 and it attracts around 3 million visitors a year from all over the world.