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Indian Heritage & Culture

ASI’s Plan to Conserve Taj Mahal

  • 16 May 2019
  • 3 min read

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has submitted a host of measures as part of a “Site Management Plan” to the Supreme Court, in pursuance of its order earlier this year, for conserving the Taj Mahal.

  • A site management plan is a document which gives a holistic perspective on conservation and management of the site.

Background

  • White marble used in the monument has turned yellow due to air pollution.
  • Water stagnation in the Yamuna river and high phosphorus levels on the riverbed made it a breeding ground for insects that form brown and green patches on the walls of the Taj.
  • Sweat, oil and dirt from visitors being getting absorbed into the marble of the Taj.

Measures Suggested in the Plan

  • For avoiding discolouration:
    • Scientific treatment and cleaning of the replica graves and surrounding walls inside the mausoleum.
    • To prevent dust from spreading, mechanical and wet cleaning of roads within 5-km radius of the monument, has been suggested.
    • Making shoe cover mandatory for entering the mausoleum premises has also been suggested.
    • All buildings and gardens within the complex need to be regularly maintained to ensure its good state of preservation.
  • For tackling pollution:
    • A complete ban on burning of biomass/municipal waste.
    • All public transport running in the city should be CNG-based or battery-operated.
    • Encouraging plantation in the city’s open areas and strict implementation of the National Building Code for construction-related activities.
    • Encouraging the use of electric crematorium and cleaning up of the banks of the river Yamuna.
  • For managing footfall:
    • Alternate queuing systems and differential ticketing systems must be used and extra security personnel be deployed at various locations to cater to the high footfall.

Taj Mahal

  • The Taj Mahal (Agra) is a mausoleum of white marble built by the Mughal emperor, Shahjahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It stands on the banks of the river Yamuna.
  • The construction of the Taj Mahal was completed within a period of 17 years from 1631 to 1648 AD.
  • The Taj Mahal was declared a centrally protected monument of national importance in December 1920.
  • Considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites in 1983.
  • It is famous for its unique layout, perfection in symmetry and inlay work.
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