NEW DELHI'S  NEGLIGENCE : India's top court on Tuesday sharply criticised the government for failing to protect  the Taj Mahal, the centuries old monument to Love which has changed color because of pollution.

The brilliant marble of the Taj Mahal - a UNESCO world heritage site - has acquired a yellow tinge over the years.

The colour of the marble ''was first becoming yellow. Now it seems to be green and black,'' a Supreme Court bench said after reviewing recent photos of the monument.

The Taj Mahal has been slowly yellowing because of smog in the region. Insects also leave green stains  on its rear wall, which faces the heavily polluted Yamuna River.

Various methods - including using mudpacks to draw the stains from the marble have been employed since conservationists first raised alarm about the decay.

''It appears that you do not have expertise or you have it but do not want to utilize it, or you do not care about the the Taj Mahal,'' the court said.

''You all appear helpless. Money should not be the consideration.........We need to save it.''

Supreme court justices  M B Lokur and  Deepak Gupta  gave   Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government and the government of Uttar Pradesh state a week to respond.

This is not the first time the  Supreme Court has criticised Indian authorities on the issue. In February, it warned that the state government's ''ad hoc''  approach was jeopardising the the monument.

The   Taj Mahal    was built in the  17th century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife  Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth in 1631. [AFP]


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