Expansion of Agra Airport May Cause Damage to Taj Mahal, Supreme Court Believes

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Expansion of Agra Airport May Cause Damage to Taj Mahal, Supreme Court Believes

The Supreme Court of India has objected the Centre's plan to enlarge Agra's existing airport and suggested building a new, larger airport away from the main city of Agra.

The existing Agra Airport, known as Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Civil Terminal, is located about 9 km southwest of the India's famous landmark, Taj Mahal. A military base, the airport also serves several commercial flights to Jaipur, Delhi and Jaisalmer. This December, however, IndoGo, an Indian low-cost airline, adds seven trial routes between Agra and Bengaluru, Bhopal, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mumbai and Varanasi. It is also rumoured that a new terminal for the airport is on the pipe to provide a better service to passengers travelling to Agra.

According to a bench of Justice and environmentalists, this expansion of Agra airport may result is higher levels of air pollution causing a major damage to the mausoleum which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and India's star attraction. Hence the bench strongly objects to the expansion of Agra airport and votes for construction of a new airport elsewhere away from the famed monument to deal with the ever increasing air traffic.

It is of note, that Jawar Airport, which construction was proposed in 2001 and that would become India's largest airport, can hardly be considered as an alternative for Agra Airport. The airport is planned for Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, about 130 km northwest of Agra.

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