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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 19, 2007
Pollution turning Taj Mahal yellow
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Pollution turning Taj Mahal yellow

Pollution is turning the Taj Mahal yellow, despite Government efforts to control air contamination around the 17th century monument.

By Brajesh Kumar

Agra (Uttar Pradesh), May 19 : Pollution is turning the Taj Mahal yellow, despite Government efforts to control air contamination around the 17th century monument.

In a report to Parliament, the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has said airborne particles are being deposited on the monument's white marble, giving it a yellow tinge.

The authorities have made several attempts to keep the Taj Mahal pollution free.Environmentalists like Dr. K. M. Rana in Agra say such reports and findings of pollution are nothing new.

"There is a definite effect of pollution on the Taj Mahal. It is the parameters of air pollution because of which the Taj is yellowing. We had objected to the construction of oil refineries near the Taj Mahal much earlier. Because these refineries are just at an aerial distance of 35 kilometres from the Taj," said Dr. Rana.

"The Taj Mahal is one of the 'Wonders of the World'. The Taj provides a lot of employment. An economy of 550 crores is sustained by the Taj. The RSPM (Respiratory Suspended Particulate Matter) or the density of dust in the air, according to the Central Pollution Control Board is only 75. But in reality, it is never less that 200 RSPM," he added.

While hordes of tourists throng the Taj to marvel at its architectural beauty, they can't help but notice how much it has yellowed in the last few years.

"This is the second time that I'm seeing the Taj Mahal. I am seeing it after a gap of 17 years. This time it looks less radiant than before. And, there is very little cleanliness," said B. L. Joshi, a visitor.

The Committee has suggested a clay pack treatment that is non-corrosive and non-abrasive be carried out to remove deposits on the marble.

It recommended that while undertaking any conservation activity at the Taj Mahal, abundant cautions should be taken to retain the original glory of the shimmering white marble used in this.

Attracting around 20,000 visitors every day, the monument was completed in 1648 after 17 years of construction by 20,000 workers.


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