The Supreme Court sought from the Uttar Pradesh government a detailed vision document for protection and preservation of the wonder of the centuries-old monument to love, the Taj Mahal. A bench of Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta asked the state government to file the comprehensive document within a month. It also asked the state to explain why there was a “sudden flurry of activities in and around the Taj Mahal and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ)” and why leather industries and hotels were coming up there.
The apex court directed the state government to give details of number of trees planted in and around the Taj Mahal and in the TTZ, a 10,400 sq kms area spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan. On December 8, 2017, the top court had also asked Uttar Pradesj government to prepare a comprehensive vision document and plan for the protection and preservation of Taj Mahal and the environment around it so that historic monument could be there for another 400 years and not just for a generation.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by environmentalist M.C. Mehta, seeking protection of the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area. He had said that the TTZ was an ecologically sensitive area and the government should have come out with a comprehensive policy for the preservation and protection of the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631.