The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government if it “wants to destroy” the world famous, Taj Mahal in a scathing remarks. The court made this remark during the hearing of an application seeking its nod to cut more than 400 trees to put down an additional railway track between Mathura in Uttar Pradesh to Delhi.
“This (Taj Mahal) is a world famous monument and you (government) want to destroy it? Have you seen the recent pictures of Taj? Go to the internet and have a look at it,” said a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta.
“If you want, then file an affidavit or application and say that the Union of India wants to destroy the Taj,” the bench added.
The apex court was dealing with a petition filed by environmentalist MC Mehta. It has been monitoring development in the area to save the historic Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Built in 1631, Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The court was hearing an application that sought to cut around 450 trees in and around 80 km stretch. An additional railway track would be laid between Mathura and Delhi on the said area. The plea has said that to clear the blockage of train movement, it was essential to let fall the additional track in the stretch. The court would hear the matter next month now.
Mehta, in his PIL, sought protection of the Taj from the ill effects of deforestation.