It is a known fact that the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. It attracts around 3 million visitors a year from all over the world. In the recent past, several alarming cases have come to light threatening the aesthetic beauty of the Taj Mahal.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) heard issues such as tree felling in the eco-sensitive zone near the 17th century mausoleum, on a plot which was about 2.4 km away from monument’s boundary, illegal constructions in and around the white marble mausoleum, construction for residential and commercial purposes in the green belt and agricultural land within 100 meters of the boundary of the monument, etc.
The courts in such cases have directed Government of Uttar Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) and Archaeological Survey of India to submit reports on illegal construction Agra in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) near the boundary of the Taj Mahal.
In a PIL filed by reputed environmental advocate M C Mehta, the Supreme Court on November 17, 2015 sent a clear warning to Uttar Pradesh government not to allow destruction of the aesthetic beauty of the Taj Mahal by poor quality of constructions around.
The bench of Justice TS Thakur and Justice C Nagappan issued notice to the ASI in petition where Indian Tourism Development Corporation was seeking no-traffic zone around Taj and better tourist management steps.