India’s Supreme court asks: Can algae fly?
Cii Radio|Ayesha Ismail|10 May 2018|23 Shabaan 1439
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) was on Wednesday reprimanded by the Supreme Court (SC) for failing to protect the 17th century monument Taj Mahal from discolouring.
The ASI, which is in charge of maintaining and repairing monuments in India, told the top court that algae were a “big problem” at the monument.
“But how has algae reached the top parts?” the court asked.
“It flew there,” representatives of the ASI replied, to which the court countered, “Can algae fly?”
The Supreme Court bench of Justices M..B Lokur and Deepak Gupta told Additional Solicitor-General A.N.S. Nadkarni, who represented the union government, that the discolouration of the Taj would not have happened if ASI had done its job properly.
“The problem is that ASI is not willing to accept that there is a problem. This situation would not have arisen if the ASI had done its job properly,” the bench said.
“We don’t know whether you have or perhaps don’t have the expertise. Even if you have the expertise, you are not utilising it. Or perhaps you don’t care,” the top court added.
The court told Nadkarni that the centre should consider whether ASI is needed at all for maintaining Taj.
It also expressed concern over pollution caused by factories situated near the world-renowned white marble mausoleum.
To this, the ASI said the problem of insects was due to stagnation of water of river Yamuna.
At one point the ASI said the white marble of Taj was turning brown because of dirty socks worn by the tourists.
“The floor in parts of the Taj Mahal is dirty because of people walking there. We don’t give socks to everyone, only to Very Important Persons (VIPs), the rest go in their own socks,” ASI said.
Last year, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) state government had suggested a provision of disposable socks for all tourists.
Earlier last month, the SC had asked UP Sunni Waqf Board to produce documents bearing signature of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to prove that Taj belonged to the body.
“Who in India will believe that the Taj Mahal belongs to the Waqf Board? How did Mughal emperor Shah Jahan sign the waqfnama? When was it given to you,” a three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak
Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, had asked the Board.
The court gave a week’s time to Waqf Board to produce the signature of Shah Jahan.
Source – Gulf News