The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to accept the new affidavit filed by the Uttar Pradesh government that it was committed to protect Taj Mahal and sought the state to spell out a comprehensive policy to protect the monument.
On October 27, a bench of justices Madam B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta had stayed its October 24 order directing demolition of the existing parking lot surrounding the world heritage monument Taj Mahal in Agra in four weeks and granted time till Wednesday for the state to file a comprehensive policy on protection of Taj Mahal from environmental degradation.
During the hearing on Wednesday, additional solicitor-general Tushar Mehta submitted that the state had filed an affidavit that it was committed to protect the monument and was even considering framing a mico-level plan with the help of experts. The state said that it was fully committed to protect the environment and ensure sustainable development specifically in and around the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ).
It said it would follow all environmental laws and orders of the apex court to ensure that a balance of eco system was maintained.
The TTZ comprises over 40 protected monuments including three world heritage sites – Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.
Refusing to accept the affidavit, the Bench made it clear that the policy should be placed before the court on November 20. The Bench in the last hearing restored the application seeking permission for construction of a level car parking lot.