India's Supreme Court yesterday slammed the federal government and its authorities for their "lethargy" in taking steps to protect the Taj Mahal, the 17th century monument of love threatened by air pollution, dubbing the issue of preserving the historic structure a "hopeless cause".
A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said no concrete steps have been taken by the government, despite a parliamentary standing committee report on the Taj's protection.
The apex court also expressed anguish over the Uttar Pradesh state government failure to come out with a vision document to preserve and protect the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is loated in Agra is located in Uttar Pradesh ruled by Bharatiya Janata Party.
The court directed the federal government to furnish full details of the steps taken and action required to be taken for protecting the iconic white marble monument.
The government told the apex court bench that the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur was assessing the air pollution level in and around the mausoleum and will give its report in four months.
It said a special committee has also been set up to find the source of pollution in and around the Taj, which will suggest measures to prevent it.