The Taj and pollution

Published - May 09, 2015 06:08 am IST

In 1977-78, a pioneering scientist in ‘Air Pollution Studies’ from the U.S., Prof. Elmer Robinson, visited the Taj Mahal under the Fulbright Exchange Program, also a time when the impact of SO and SO gases (sulphate) from the Mathura Refineries on the Taj Mahal was very much under debate. After analysing the air quality data made available to him by his Indian counterparts, Prof. Robinson was of the opinion that greater damage could be caused to the structure’s marble surface because of emissions from the local industrial sources in the neighbourhood than by air pollutants from faraway locations. The situation continues even today!

Therefore, any step being pursued by the local administration to curtail air pollutant emissions from local sources deserves encouragement (“Pollution, tourism threat to Taj”, May 8). A dense green belt in the immediate vicinity of the World Heritage site and ensuring optimum levels in all water bodies around the area deserve consideration. Other solutions include alternative locations for small-scale and cottage industries, a subsidy for LPG as a fuel and the replacement of rusting iron parts in the structure with a rust-free alloy. The government should also be generous in allocating a fund to maintain the Taj.

M.P. Chockalingam,


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