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The apex court on Thursday (July 26) rapped the UP government for filing the draft Vision Document on the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) saying that why a draft was presented instead of final document.

“Are we supposed to correct it?” asked the bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta.

The bench further wondered as who was the in-charge of environment protection in and around the TTZ saying that too many govt agencies were getting involved in it creating confusion in their minds.

“Who is in-charge of the environment protection and redevelopment of the zone? First environment ministry files affidavit, then ASI, then UP govt, then MHA, now tourism ministry has come after several years. We can see the seriousness of the govt. Orders of the SC have no meaning. This is a world heritage site. Have you been filing a management plan before the World Heritage Centre of the UNESCO? What will happen if the UNESCO says we are withdrawing the world heritage tag?” asked the bench.

The bench asked the Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal: “Who is the one in-charge of the Taj Mahal? Is it tourism ministry or ASI?”

AG replied: “ASI is in-charge of the monument.”

Bench said: “Then the ASI should be held responsible. Cannot have different departments taking decisions.”

The court asked AG to inform it of who exactly is in-charge of the Taj Mahal. Who in Central government is responsible, who is responsible in the UP government.

It further directed Centre and UP government to identify specific officers and authority in charge of  maintenance of the Taj Mahal and the redevelopment of the TTZ.

-India Legal Bureau

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