RTI reply - Taj Mahal surrounded by illegal encroachments
As per the information provided by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in response to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by Intizar Naeem, a large number of illegal constructions totalling 533 have taken place in the entire Agra circle. Out of these, 46 illegal constructions have come up in Tajganj area some of which are situated at a mere 100 metre distance from the Taj Mahal. The Supreme Court has prohibited any construction within 500 metres of the archaeological marvel.
It is a known fact that many important historical monuments not only in Agra, but also other cities of the country suffer from encroachment. In most cities, the administration has been criticised for not taking appropriate steps to prevent encroachment or turning a blind eye to it.
Such illegal encroachments threaten the natural beauty of the archaeological monuments and adversely affect not only the ambience, but also the safety and upkeep of the monument.