Receding water levels of Yamuna threaten the foundation of Taj Mahal, claims historian

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TajMahalHistorian Haji Tahiruddin Tahir has claimed that the fast diminishing water levels of the river Yamuna could be a threat to the foundation of the Taj Mahal.

He explained that the foundation of the historical monument draws its strength from the waters of Yamuna and therefore the decreasing water levels of the river could pose a serious threat to this heritage site.

“Forty or 50 years down the line or whenever the limestone becomes dry due to lack of moisture, it will start decaying and will be in danger of collapse.

“This is why water it is necessary for Taj Mahal’s survival. So if the water levels in the Yamuna are receding, then it needs to be brought up. The Indian government and the Archaeological Survey of India need to pay attention to this. The Taj Mahal must be preserved according to the estimates of the ancient architects,” said Tahir.

However, an official at the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), in-charge of preserving the monument, denying Tahir’s claims, said that, no scientific evidence is available to corroborate the historian’s observation. “It is an opinion that there is a direct relationship between the water in the Yamuna river and the strength of the Taj Mahal’s foundations. But there is no scientific proof to back this view,” said Bhuvan Vikram Singh, ASI Superintendent, Agra.

Singh nevertheless admitted to the threat posed to the white marble of the mausoleum, by the pollutants arising from river Yamuna, adding that any conclusions regarding the danger to the foundation of the Taj due to the receding water levels of the Yamuna can be made only after scientific evidence has been gathered.

The ever increasing levels of pollution from industries in Agra and the toxic waste from the river Yamuna have proven to be hazardous to the strength and beauty of the monument for decades.

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