We have all known the bitter fact that over the years, the 17th Century, 240-foot tall iconic monument, symbolizing of eternal love has been threatened by pollution, unabashed construction, a crematorium and even bombs.
There has recently been a rising concern of the archaeological department regarding the India's iconic Taj Mahal being threatened by insect poo –about which the environmentalists say that bugs from the polluted Yamuna River nearby are invading the monument and are leaving greenish-black patches of waste on its pristine white marble walls. One of the largest and longest tributaries of the Ganges, the Yamuna is already one of the most polluted waterways in the country.
According to environmental activist DK Joshi, “An invasion of the insect called Chironomus Calligraphus (Geoldichironomus) is turning the Taj Mahal green”.
He has also filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal - a special tribunal set up by the government to deal with environmental disputes - saying that the "explosive breeding" of the pests in the polluted Yamuna river is marring the beauty of the monument. The BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi has also extensively reported on this recent threat to India's "monument of love".
As per Mr. Joshi, "Fifty-two drains are pouring waste directly into the river and just behind the monument, Yamuna has become so stagnant that fish that earlier kept insect populations in check are dying. This allows pests to proliferate in the river. The stains the bugs leave on the marble are washable and workers from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been trying to scrub the walls clean, but frequent scrubbing can take the sheen off the marble”.
This serious problem has one solution and which is to clean up the Yamuna. Post this BBC report, the state - Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has ordered officials to "trace the factors behind the problem and find a solution".
Pollution is a significant threat to this ICONIC archaeological monument, which has mesmerized the world since several centuries. Built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the early 1600s, as a tribute to his favorite wife - Mumtaj, the Taj Mahal has faced its share of jeopardizes over the years, the white facade had previously taken on a yellow hue due to coal pollution in its home city of Agra, and its first recorded repairs were as early as 1652 and the latest are these insects. Hope that the problem will be resolved soon and there will be a silver lining instead with some smart solutions rather than green patches.