Published: Friday 30 June 2000

In a determined move to protect the Taj Mahal from being severely affected by vehicular emissions, the Supreme Court has banned the passing and parking of vehicles within 500 metres from its boundary walls. The rule will be applied even for the VIPs who visit the historic monument. The court has further directed the state authorities to ensure that the monument's vicinity was not subject to noise pollution. The court order was in response to a petition filed by environmentalist lawyer M C Mehta. In his petition, Mehta had pointed out: "The Taj is facing a multiple attack. Polluting industries on one hand and noise and vehicular smoke pollution on the other." He said that besides this, the pollution created by the Rs 5,000 crore Mathura refinery was further contributing to Taj's rapid deterioration. Having heard Mehta's petition, the apex court also ordered the shifting of at least 70 shops from near the Taj.

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