Follow up

Published: Tuesday 30 September 2003

plot thickens: The Taj heritage corridor controversy is set to assume monumental proportions. Even as the rise in Yamuna river's level left Taj Mahal on shaky ground, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to go after the senior officials and politicians believed to be involved in clearing the illegal project.

The CBI had earlier filed an interim report in the apex court. On August 21, the SC directed the agency to interrogate "four to five" senior state officials mentioned in its report. They have allegedly played a key role in the unauthorised construction activity right behind the Taj (see: "Sold down the river", July 31, 2003). The SC directed the CBI to respond in September. Those questioned include UP's ex-chief minister Mayawati, who has reportedly confessed that she gave the final go-ahead for the project, and former state environment minister N Siddiqui. Meanwhile, officials of the Archaeological Survey of India point out that because of the Yamuna's girth having been reduced due to this project, its flow has increased dramatically. This has put pressure on the plinth of the Taj.

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