SC lifts ban on construction, industrial activities in TTZ

The Supreme Court (SC) has lifted its earlier interim order imposing a complete ban on construction, industrial activities and cutting of trees in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ).

A Bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde said non polluting industries with proper clearances and those complying with the rules can be allowed. It said ban on heavy industry will continue. The top court allowed Uttar Pradesh government to consider application for environmental clearance based on environment impact assessment. The Supreme Court was hearing a plea of environmentalist MC Mehta pertaining to protection of Taj Mahal, the fragile eco-system surrounding it, and construction in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), an ‘eco-sensitive area’ having four world heritage sites including the Taj Mahal.

The TTZ was established on December 30, 1996, to protect the Taj Mahal from pollution through an order of Supreme Court, is a 10,400 sq km area spread across the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur district of Rajasthan.