The Taj Mahal, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, is perhaps the most beautiful and exquisite symbol of love. It was built in Agra by Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, over 350 years ago. It has been exquisitely built with marble, turquoise, jade, lapis lazuli and many other precious stones. Sadly, this symbol of love has been tainted by pollution and the sparkling white walls have acquired a shade of yellow due to pollution from vehicles, factories and other pollutants.
The Indian government, over the past few years, has tried to curb this problem. They haven’t been successful in their attempt. The authorities have set up an air pollution monitoring center in Agra to measure and check the air pollution. It has been found out that though air pollutants like nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide are within the permissible limits the suspended particle matter has reached a very high limit all round the year, except perhaps the rainy season. Besides, toxic waste carried by the Yamuna River, which flows right behind the Taj Mahal, further pollutes the air around it, emitting a foul smell.
The ministry has been very concerned and certain steps have been taken to ensure that the beauty of the Taj Mahal does not get lost with time. Some of these steps are:
1. LPG connections are being provided all around the area, and first timers are getting their LPG connection without any problem.
2. Commercial establishments and industries have been given the incentive to change over from LPG to fossil fuel. The response hasn’t been really good.
3. Unleaded and low lead petrol was made available in Agra to improve the environmental conditions of Agra. Apart from that, low sulphur content diesel has been introduced. This has helped since sulphur is a highly corrosive element.
Apart from this, the ministry has also been recommended clay pack treatment for the monument. This is intended to curb the corrosive effects of the pollutants.