On Environment Impact Of Shops Near Taj Mahal, Supreme Court Orders Survey
The Agra Development Authority (ADA) came under fire from the Supreme Court on Wednesday for failing to do any research into how business operations close to the famous Taj Mahal were affecting the environment.
The highest court delayed the operation of notifications filed for the closure of all business activity along the border wall of the centuries-old monument, declaring that it must act as a “super administrator” because the ADA had neglected its responsibility.
An environment impact assessment (EIA) based on the most recent survey of commercial operations, particularly in the Taj Ganj area within 500 metres of the courthouse, was requested by a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S. Oka.
The top court pointed out that the removal of businesses order from September 26 was made to be consistent with a previous order that required 71 shops to be renovated beyond the monument’s 500-meter perimeter. It gave NEERI the freedom to go to court if it has any issues carrying out the survey or the EIA.
The court informed the lawyer for Uttar Pradesh, “Since it appears that your authority did not complete their work, we must now take over as super administrators. We have no idea what sort of activity is taking place there. We were worried about those 71 store owners.”The bench ordered Rao to submit the report after visiting the location of afforestation and ordered the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to plant 10,320 saplings to complete the required afforestation within six months.
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