Our Take

Saving Taj

Saving Taj
With zero tolerance to stain the image of the Taj Mahal further, the Supreme Court has rightly ordered immediate handing over of the monument’s upkeep to another agency, clearly unhappy with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) lack of diligence on doing something about the chemical stains on the façade. The problem with the ASI is never one of budgets, as some world heritage sites get supplementary UN funding too, but with the mismanagement of funds and delaying interventions. Saying that it could do nothing if water levels in the Yamuna are low, the phosphorus count is high and insects are breeding is a lame excuse and shirking of responsibility. If the brown and green stains on the world’s wonder are unchecked, it would be national shame.
As the SC said, money should not be a concern in restoring the pristine nature of our national heritage and that experts, both international and national, should be roped in to save the monument. Meanwhile the government should take care that its actions are above clarification and lay down a uniform heritage conservation policy that has a multiple representation of historians, conservationists, archaeologists, keeper family trusts and experts. The execution can be entrusted to private players with a proven track record and depth of expertise. Raising resources as part of corporate CSR is not too difficult. Heritage conservation cannot be a dismissable low priority given its benchmark appeal.


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