Greening the Taj {Environment} {Ecology}

Context

This article talks how the river pollution is affecting the monument Taj Mahal

Deterioration beginning

The monument to love has been under threat since the time of Lord Curzon, who toned down its Mughal garden into an English park.

It has weathered industrial pollution since the early Nineties and now faces multiple threats to its integrity.

It was first turned yellow by fumes, and is now turning green under the influence of river pollution.

The fact behind current threat

Marble is a porous rock, and eagerly absorbs whatever comes its way, including the chemistry of dirty socks.

The court has wanted to know if algae have sprouted wings, which would have been truly exciting and attracted botanists from all over.

Taj Mahal in Brief

An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.

The Taj Mahal is located on the right bank of the Yamuna River in a vast Mughal garden that encompasses nearly 17 hectares, in the Agra District in Uttar Pradesh. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal with construction starting in 1632 AD and completed in 1648 AD, with the mosque, the guest house and the main gateway on the south, the outer courtyard and its cloisters were added subsequently and completed in 1653 AD. The existence of several historical and Quaranic inscriptions in Arabic script have facilitated setting the chronology of Taj Mahal. For its construction, masons, stone-cutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the whole of the empire and also from the Central Asia and Iran. Ustad-Ahmad Lahori was the main architect of the Taj Mahal.

Criterion (i): Taj Mahal represents the finest architectural and artistic achievement through perfect harmony and excellent craftsmanship in a whole range of Indo-Islamic sepulchral architecture. It is a masterpiece of architectural style in conception, treatment and execution and has unique aesthetic qualities in balance, symmetry and harmonious blending of various elements.

Integrity

Integrity is maintained in the intactness of tomb, mosque, guest house, main gate and the whole Taj Mahal complex. The physical fabric is in good condition and structural stability, nature of foundation, verticality of the minarets and other constructional aspects of Taj Mahal have been studied and continue to be monitored. To control the impact of deterioration due for atmospheric pollutants, an air control monitoring station is installed to constantly monitor air quality and control decay factors as they arise. To ensure the protection of the setting, the adequate management and enforcement of regulations in the extended buffer zone is needed. In addition, future development for tourist facilities will need to ensure that the functional and visual integrity of the property is maintained, particularly in the relationship with the Agra Fort.

Authenticity

The tomb, mosque, guest house, main gate and the overall Taj Mahal complex have maintained the conditions of authenticity at the time of inscription. Although an important amount of repairs and conservation works have been carried out right from the British period in India these have not compromised to the original qualities of the buildings. Future conservation work will need to follow guidelines that ensure that qualities such as form and design continue to be preserved.

Protection and management requirements

The management of Taj Mahal complex is carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India and the legal protection of the monument and the control over the regulated area around the monument is through the various legislative and regulatory frameworks that have been established, including the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 and Rules 1959 Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation); which is adequate to the overall administration of the property and buffer areas. Additional supplementary laws ensure the protection of the property in terms of development in the surroundings.

An area of 10,400 sq km around the Taj Mahal is defined to protect the monument from pollution. The Supreme Court of India in December, 1996, delivered a ruling banning use of coal/coke in industries located in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and switching over to natural gas or relocating them outside the TTZ. The TTZ comprises of 40 protected monuments including three World Heritage Sites – Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      Current Affairs ONLY
      Register New Account
      Reset Password