NEW DELHI, May 9 (Xinhua) -- India's iconic Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is being infected by insects.
This concern has been raised by none other than the country's Supreme Court, which Wednesday slammed the country's archeological conservation agency for failing to protect the 17th century mausoleum in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh's Agra town, 250 km from Delhi.
A two-judge bench of the apex court made the remarks against the state-owned Archeological Survey of India (ASI) as it asked the agency to list the steps taken to prevent the Taj Mahal from getting infected by insects.
"The problem is that ASI is not willing to accept that there is a problem. This situation would not have arisen if the ASI had done its job," the court told top government lawyer A.N.S. Nadkarni who appeared on behalf of the agency.
The court's remarks came as environmentalists are seeking protection of the Taj Mahal from the effects of polluting gases and deforestation in the vicinity.
According to local environment activist D.K. Joshi, huge dumping of waste in the Yamuna river, which is near Taj Mahal, over time has led to stagnation of the river and is leading to the explosive breeding of an insect -- Chironomus Calligraphus.