“First it was yellow and now it is becoming brown and green,” an SC bench had observed last month
Union Culture and Environment Minister Mahesh Sharma declared that a scientific study will be done to determine the exact colour of the marble that was used to build the Taj Mahal, after Supreme Court intervened in the issue.
Environmentalist advocate MC Mehta had filed a petition in the top court and produced photographs of the Taj Mahal before a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta. “First it was yellow and now it is becoming brown and green,” the bench had observed last month on further perusal of the photographs.
The top court pulled up the government for negligence, saying, “It appears that you do not have the expertise or you have but do not want to utilise it or you do not care about it.” The bench had questioned Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, who was representing the Centre, and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Uttar Pradesh government, for their “lack of will” to restore the monument.
Taking a dig at the government, the bench had observed, “Perhaps we need some expert organisation from outside India unless there is a decision that the Taj has to go.” It added, “You can get experts from India as well as from outside… Money should not be the consideration… we need to save it.”
In response to the apex court’s intervention, Mahesh Sharma told the press, “We have original photographs of the monument that are over 100 years old and the same will be compared with pictures taken after cleaning the monument to measure the changes”. A scientific study called ‘colour stereography’ will be conducted for comparison of the pictures.Sharma, however, refused to comment when he was asked if he will take the top court’s suggestion of involving international experts. He however said the government will put “ground reality” before the court.