With major historical monuments run by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) across the country shut down due to a spike in Covid-19 cases, the time will be used to carry out conservation work at the iconic Taj Mahal and other Mughal-era sites Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri at a cost of Rs one crore.
The aim behind carrying out such work is to make the monuments more beautiful for tourists when they are open to the public again, according to a senior ASI official in Agra, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The Taj Mahal and other ASI protected monuments, sites and museums were closed to the public from April 15 to May 15 by the Ministry of Culture due to the rise in coronavirus cases across India.
Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Agra Circle, Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, said, "As the monuments have been closed till May 15 due to the spike in Covid-19 cases, we will utilise that time in carrying out conservation of Taj Mahal premises, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri."
"Mud pack treatment will be applied to the main dome of the Taj Mahal while conservation of minars in the monument will be done," he said.
Mud packs have in the past been used by the ASI to rub off yellow stains that have appeared over the years on Taj Mahal's white marble facade. The effort is believed to help restore the natural shine and colour of the monument.
"The old stones of pietra dura art at the royal gate will be changed and the royal gate itself will be given a new look," Swarnkar added.
"The budget for the renovation and conservation of the monuments'' premises was about Rs 1 crore and that was proposed in the last financial year," the ASI official added.