The Supreme Court today directed the civic agencies of Agra to remove all garbage and solid wastes from the streets of the city within seven days.
The order was passed in a public interest petition seeking to improve the appearance of the city housing the Taj Mahal.
The petition was pending in the court since 1984 and the court had been passing several orders to protect the environment and the world famous Mughal monument.
The court has relocated polluting small-scale industrial units, ordered forestation of the tourist complex and passed several orders on civic amenities, like public transport and drainage.
The court, however, found that in recent days, the city has gone back to its old ways to some extent.
Counsel Vijay Panjwani, assisting the court, pointed out that the corporation had not filed its report on the waste disposal mechanism before the Central Pollution Control Board.
The Bench comprising Justice M B Shah and Justice D M Dharmadhikari observed that the city used to be kept clean on the directions of the court but now it has started becoming dirty again.
The court asked the corporation to file reports to it as required under the Solid Waste Management Rules by June 30 every year.
It also asked the commissioner to file progress report on the provision of safe drinking water and construction of public toilets in the tourist area.
The Central Pollution Control Board was also asked to file its report within a month on the respirable suspended particulate matter for which funds have been allocated.
Another problem affecting the tourists is the monkey menace. In May 2002, the court had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to relocate monkeys. The state government today claimed that monkeys had been rehabilitated elsewhere.
The government also submitted that it had acquired land for a Rs 4.5-crore solar project and advanced money for battery operated bus service for tourists.
On the construction of a modern slaughter house, the state government submitted that the work was complete and has been handed over to a private company.
This abattoir will not pollute the environment and will meet the requirement of meat for local consumption and exports obligations.