Restore Yamuna`s health to protect Taj: Agra MP

Agra: Agra MP Ram Shankar Katheria, who was recently in the spotlight for warning the Taj Mahal would collapse in five years, Saturday announced he would stage a sit on at the Taj Corridor, if effective steps were not taken to restore good health to Yamuna for the safety of the 17th century monument.

Addressing a symposium held by the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society at the end of the Heritage week Saturday, Katheria said he would intervene in the Supreme Court case to plead for restoration of Yamuna, and present arguments to prove that the monument`s foundation was indeed under threat from a dry river.

Meanwhile, speakers demanded heritage city status for Agra. This demand flowing from the 1996 judgement of the Supreme Court in environmental activist M.C. Mehta`s PIL, was still hanging fire.

Chandra Kant Tripathi, registrar of Central Hindi Institute, said heritage extended beyond stones and included flora and fauna, culture, cuisine, traditions and language.

REDCO (an organisation of realtors) president K.C. Jain said pride and consciousness for heritage had to be inculcated in the masses.

He also said additional data and evidence would be placed before the Supreme Court to prove that the Yamuna river was being neglected and its high pollution level could prove dangerous to the safety of the Taj Mahal.

Speakers said the river had been reduced to a sewage canal and all the toxic and industrial effluents were flowing down it. "The dangerous water could percolate deep down and erode the foundation of the Taj Mahal."


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