Agra administration bans mobile towers and highrises near Taj Mahal
Real Estate

Agra administration bans mobile towers and highrises near Taj Mahal

Mobile towers and highrises can no longer be formed in a 1.5 km radius behind the Taj Mahal to keep the skyline unobstructed.

The Agra administration has included the provision in the city’s master plan, which the government has to permit.

Rajendra Pensiya, Vice-chairperson of the Agra Development Authority, told the media that no building higher than 25 m would be built behind the Taj Mahal, so the panoramic view of the monument is visible without a barrier in the background.

Amit Gupta, divisional commissioner, Agra, who is the ADA chairperson told the media that the decision was taken in a recent board meeting after a survey in March 2020 by the ADA engineering team. The authority had received many complaints about obstructed views of the monument.

Four towers, about 50-60 m high, were seen behind the Taj — three on the west side and one on the east. Pensiya said that one of the mobile towers was demolished. The height of two other towers was decreased to 25m. One high-tension electric pole is on the east side. They are in the process of moving it, but it will take time.

There is just one building taller than four floors in the backdrop. The administration is also considering the trees in the background as a barrier. Various old trees are 50m high but cutting them is not likely as they fall under the Taj Trapezium Zone (a buffer zone marked out to protect the monument from pollution). To cut trees under the area, they require approval from the Supreme Court.

A four-day convention of Unesco experts on visual integrity was conducted in Agra in the year 2013. Rajiv Saxena, vice president of the Tourism Guild Agra, told the media that the ASI is bound to guarantee the visual integrity mandate of Unesco sites comprising the Taj Mahal, accompanied by the 2013 convention.

Munazzar Ali, the former Agra circle senior conservation assistant, told the media that ASI standards specify a ban on construction in a 100 m radius around monuments and a 15-m height cap for the construction in a 300 m radius.

ASI superintending archaeologist (Agra circle) Vasant Swarnkar told the media that it was a long-pending discussion about the view of the monument. It is a welcome step.

Image Source

Mobile towers and highrises can no longer be formed in a 1.5 km radius behind the Taj Mahal to keep the skyline unobstructed. The Agra administration has included the provision in the city’s master plan, which the government has to permit. Rajendra Pensiya, Vice-chairperson of the Agra Development Authority, told the media that no building higher than 25 m would be built behind the Taj Mahal, so the panoramic view of the monument is visible without a barrier in the background. Amit Gupta, divisional commissioner, Agra, who is the ADA chairperson told the media that the decision was taken in a recent board meeting after a survey in March 2020 by the ADA engineering team. The authority had received many complaints about obstructed views of the monument. Four towers, about 50-60 m high, were seen behind the Taj — three on the west side and one on the east. Pensiya said that one of the mobile towers was demolished. The height of two other towers was decreased to 25m. One high-tension electric pole is on the east side. They are in the process of moving it, but it will take time. There is just one building taller than four floors in the backdrop. The administration is also considering the trees in the background as a barrier. Various old trees are 50m high but cutting them is not likely as they fall under the Taj Trapezium Zone (a buffer zone marked out to protect the monument from pollution). To cut trees under the area, they require approval from the Supreme Court. A four-day convention of Unesco experts on visual integrity was conducted in Agra in the year 2013. Rajiv Saxena, vice president of the Tourism Guild Agra, told the media that the ASI is bound to guarantee the visual integrity mandate of Unesco sites comprising the Taj Mahal, accompanied by the 2013 convention. Munazzar Ali, the former Agra circle senior conservation assistant, told the media that ASI standards specify a ban on construction in a 100 m radius around monuments and a 15-m height cap for the construction in a 300 m radius. ASI superintending archaeologist (Agra circle) Vasant Swarnkar told the media that it was a long-pending discussion about the view of the monument. It is a welcome step. Image Source

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