UP files draft vision document on Taj in SC, says area should be no-plastic zone

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New Delhi, Jul 24 (PTI) The Uttar Pradesh government today filed the first draft report of its vision document on protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal in the Supreme Court and said the entire precinct should be declared a no-plastic zone and all polluting industries in the region closed.

The Uttar Pradesh government mentioned the matter before a bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta.

The vision document was submitted after an angry apex court on July 11 lashed out the state government for its apathy towards the 17th century Mughal era monument, considered one of the wonders of the world.

Advocate Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the government, told the bench that they be allowed to file the document. The court allowed the counsel to file the draft.

The Uttar Pradesh government told the apex court that the entire Taj Mahal precinct should be declared a no-plastic zone. The use of bottled water inside should also be prohibited, it said.

The state government said all polluting industries in region should be closed, while more tourism hubs should be created.

It said a comprehensive traffic management plan was needed to promote pedestrian movement in the Taj heritage precinct.

The draft vision document also said roads along Yamuna riverfront should be planned so traffic is limited and pedestrian movement encouraged.

According to the government, there should be no construction on the Yamuna floodplain and the riverbank should only have natural plantations.

The apex 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 Mahal at Agra.

Its construction was completed in 1643 but work continued on other phases of the project for another 10 years. The ivory white marble mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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