|SC notice to UP, Agra MC on illegal
construction near Taj
10 Jan, 2008
NEW DELHI: The Supreme
Court on Wednesday sought an explanation from the UP government and Agra
civic bodies for allegedly permitting illegal construction in a prohibited
zone near Taj Mahal.
“The chairman of the Agra
Development Authority and the commissioner of Agra Municipal Corporation
shall submit a report to us whether the permission has been granted by
them for construction within the prohibited zone,” said a special bench
comprising Justice S B Sinha, Justice S H Kapadia and Justice D K Jain.
The court was hearing
an application filed by advocate M C Mehta alleging that large-scale construction
for residential and commercial purposes has been allowed on the riverbed
near Taj in violation of the apex court order.
“Except for road plantation
there is no green coverage. All the open spaces and agricultural land is
being used for commercial purposes, and the green area has gone down,”
Mr Mehta said. He also said the new master plan of 2000-21 for the city
be stayed as it allowed the green belt and agricultural land to be used
for construction purposes.
“If the land (green belt
and agricultural land) is allowed to be used for the residential and commercial
purposes then it would be a big threat to Taj,” Mr Mehta contended, displaying
the maps showing decrease of green cover in case of the implementation
of the new master plan.
The court after hearing
the plea issued notices to the state government and the local bodies, and
sought replies within four weeks.
The court, however, refused
to pass any order on the state government’s plea seeking its permission
to cut down 2,332 trees for widening the road leading to Taj.“We are not
technical persons so you approach the appropriate authority for getting
a clearance,” the bench said.
On another application
of the ITDC, the court issued notice to the ASI. The corporation is seeking
no-traffic zone around Taj and better tourist management steps..