Activists are demanding that Agra deserves the heritage city tag, to protect its identity as the haphazard urban growth is becoming a huge threat to its historical monuments
Inspite of efforts to transform Agra into a 'Smart City', many green activists in the city are demanding a heritage city status instead. The city, a popular tourist destination in Uttar Pradesh, boasts of three world heritage monuments, the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri as well as Sikandra and Itmad-ud-daula monuments that are in the waiting list of sorts to be added to the same list.
Surendra Sharma, president of Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society, an NGO, says "Agra deserves the heritage city tag, to protect its identity. The haphazard urban growth is a huge threat to historical monuments. Encroachment around monuments and mushroom growth of colonies should be discouraged." The Supreme Court has been acting like a watchdog with the working of Taj Trapezium Zone Authority, after reports suggesting dangerous pollution levels in Agra that the Taj Mahal.
MC Mehta, in a PIL before the Supreme Court, has raised many issues of concern, which has led the apex court to call for a "vision document" on TTZ. Prepared by Delhi's School of Planning And Architecture, the 'vision document' will be shared in the apex court this week. Meanwhile, local activists have also drawn up an alternative document demanding a heritage status for the city.
Government agencies, including Uttar Pradesh Tourism, are in favour of heritage city status, but developers and colonisers are opposing the move, fearing that the status would halt construction activities. Agra was selected to be developed into a smart city in September 2016.
Last Updated 4:46 PM IST