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Controversial Taj Heritage Corridor takes new green avataar

IANS  |  Agra 

The controversial Taj Heritage Corridor, which brought down the government in 2003, has now been resurrected in a new "green" avatar along the

A year ago, the then of the SC/ST Commission, Ram Shankar Katheria, laid the foundation stone of the new Taj View Garden, sandwiched between the iconic and the

The some years ago had asked the Archaeological Survey of (ASI) to clean up the debris from the and develop the 80 acres of reclaimed land as a green buffer to insulate the from air pollution.

But for want of resources, it took more than a decade for work to start on this ambitious joint project of the Forest Department, UP and the

A on the site told IANS: "We have cleared the whole area to develop a green stretch along the This will surely be a new attraction for tourists."

Till last year, this ugly eyesore between the Taj and the Fort was being used not only as a dumping ground for garbage but also as a place to bury dead bodies of children and animals.

The original corridor project worth Rs 175 crore was to begin from Khan-e-Alam, close to the Taj Mahal, and end two kilometres towards the city behind It was to be extended later to allow tourists to reach Etmaddaula and on the other side of the river.

For months, hundreds of tractors, earth movers and machines worked round the clock to dig out silt and deposit it on the riverbank to create a new platform, which was laid with Rajasthani stones.

But after a hue and cry from conservationists that the corridor would endanger the Taj and allegations of large-scale corruption in the project, the central government suspended the work in 2003.

It took a lot of persuasive efforts of environmentalists and local politicians to get work started on clearing the debris and developing the green stretches.

The now is solidly insulated from air pollutants by a thick green buffer that includes not just the Corridor, but also Mehtaab Bagh across the river, Shah Jahan Garden on the west and the Taj Nature Walk Park on the eastern flank.

--IANS

bk/mr

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 13:46 IST
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