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The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Centre and its authorities for their “lethargy” in taking steps to protect the Taj Mahal, dubbing the issue of preserving the historic medieval structure a “hopeless cause”.

The apex court also expressed anguish over the Uttar Pradesh government’s failure to come out with a vision document to preserve and protect the Taj Mahal.

It directed the Centre to furnish full details of the steps taken and action required to be taken for protecting the iconic monument.

A bench of Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta said no concrete steps had been taken by the government, despite a parliamentary standing committee report on the Taj’s protection.

The Centre told the bench that Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, was assessing the air pollution level in and around the mausoleum and would give its report in four months.

It said a special committee had also been set up to find the source of pollution in and around the Taj, which would suggest measures to prevent it.

The bench said it would hear the matter on a day-to-day basis from July 31. 
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