SC clears Rs.140 crore spruce-up near Taj

Agra, July 15 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday green signalled a Rs.140 crore plan for beautification and streamlining of civic amenities in Taj Ganj area around the 17th century marble marvel Taj Mahal, officials said here.

District officials informed IANS that Rs.17.68 crore would be spent on upgrading amenities in 15 slum clusters in the area.

District magistrate Zuher Bin Sagir indicated the work on the project would start this month itself.

The plan for beautification and development of facilities in the area was submitted for clearance by the Uttar Pradesh tourism department.

The application came up before the court Monday, an officials said.

The apex court directed that all plans for development, beautification and restoration of heritage landmarks around the Taj Mahal should be compatible with the requirements for a world heritage monument.

The court asked the Uttar Pradesh forest department to file clarifications on the proposed Mumtaz Eco-Park to be developed on 80 acres between the Agra Fort and the Taj on the Yamuna river bed.

"We will be submitting the responses in two weeks," District Forest Officer N.K. Janoo told IANS.

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