Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 11 December 2019

The Taj Mahal has set up purifiers to help fight air pollution

Around eight million people visit the Unesco site annually

Foreign tourists wearing face masks visit the Taj Mahal under heavy smog conditions, in Agra, India. AFP
Foreign tourists wearing face masks visit the Taj Mahal under heavy smog conditions, in Agra, India. AFP

As air pollution hits record high levels in some part of India, the country’s most famous attraction is taking steps to ensure its visitors are able to breathe. The Taj Mahal, a Unesco World Heritage site, sees around eight million visitors annually and so the ongoing issue of air pollution is a big problem. However, a private firm has recently stationed two mobile air purifiers at the site to help tackle the issue.

"This is on a trial basis for 10 days but we are trying to get [the private firm] to continue it for some more time," Bhuvan Prakash Yadav, a representative from the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) told CNN.

He also claimed that each van is able to purify 1.5 million cubic metres of air in eight hours. However, CNN notes that this wasn't able to be verified as the vans lack sensors, so it's unclear if the vans have actually any real effect on the air quality.

Back in June, it was announced that tourists could be charged for staying longer than three hours at the site as authorities are trying to tackle overtourism. Visitors now have to adhere to timings specified on pre-purchased tickets. Tourists that turn up without the time stamped on their tickets will not be allowed entrance and will have to purchase another ticket on-site. The fine is around 1,100 rupees (Dh58).

Commissioned in 1632 as a gift for the wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the main mausoleum stands 60 metres tall. Carved out of white marble and inlaid with jewels and gemstones from around the world, it took over 20 years to be completed.

Updated: November 10, 2019 03:31 PM

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