India bans burning of dung near the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal. Image by LASZLO ILYES / CC BY 2.0

Government officials in the Indian city of Agra have banned the burning of animal dung near the Taj Mahal as part of a long-running campaign to protect India’s most famous monument from pollution. Scientists have discovered that the Taj’s famous white marble is being discoloured by chemicals and dust released by the burning of dung, which is used as a fuel source by the city’s poorest residents. The burning of coal was banned in the so-called Taj Trapezium Zone - a 10,400 sq km area surrounding the monument -  in 1996, and subsequent years have seen bans on industrial developments close to the Taj and a 500m exclusion zone for motor vehicles surrounding the mausoleum. Read more:

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