The Ministry of Culture recently held a high level stakeholders’ workshop on the Taj Mahal in Agra. The meeting, chaired by Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) of Culture and Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, discussed the issues of pollution around Taj Mahal with a focus on drawing short term and long term measures.
The meeting was followed by the Taj Declaration to ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ made at a press conference, in which a pledge was taken to make areas around the Taj Mahal upto 500 metres around the historic monument litter free and taking immediate steps to reduce single-use plastic near and around the Taj Mahal. The pledge was taken in the presence of Sharma; Executive Director of UNEP, Erik Solheim; UNEP Goodwill ambassador and actress Diya Mirza; local MPs, MLAs, local administration among others.
Addressing mediapersons, Sharma said that India as well as the whole world is today facing the problem of pollution caused by excess plastic use. It is an historic moment that the message of Beat Plastic Pollution is being given from the iconic monument Taj Mahal not only to the people of Agra and the country but to the whole world. Stein of UNEP expressed happiness that the UN slogan of Beat Plastic Pollution for this year’s Environment Day is being highlighted from the Taj Mahal which is the global symbol of love. The coming together of the Centre, the state, local administration and all other stakeholders is heartening and hoped that Agra will soon take the shape of a smart , green city with commitment of all.
Mirza also expressed happiness that all agencies together are taking forward the message of pollution free Taj Mahal which will also send a strong message to the world about harmful effects of plastic pollution. To bring down the negative impact of pollution, it is responsibility of each individual to reduce plastic use in our everyday life, she added.