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Burning of cow dung cakes banned near Taj Mahal

Burning of cow dung cakes banned near Taj Mahal India’s white marvel, the Taj Mahal, acquiring yellowish hues has prompted authorities in Agra to ban burning of cow dung cakes for cooking near the 17th century monument.

The Agra district administration is also planning to ban use of coal by small industrial units making bangles and famous local sweet – ‘petha’ to protect the Monument of Love.

“A recent study published in an American journal says that due to brown and black carbon particles, the white marble of the Taj Mahal is turning yellow. Taking note of this, we have banned use of cow dung cakes used for cooking purposes in the city,” Divisional Commissioner, Agra, and Chairman Taj Trapezium Zone, Pradeep Bhatnagar told PTI.

Accepting that it would be a challenging task to implement the ban, he said a fine would be imposed as per the Nagar Nigam Act on those flouting the order aimed at protecting the UNESCO World Heritage.

Asked about the inconvenience caused to the poor due to ban on burning of cow dung cakes, Bhatnagar said officials have been asked to organise special camps to distribute LPG connections to them.

He said a ban on coal-based ‘petha’ units in the city and bangle making units in adjoining Firozabad district was also on the cards as these emitted black carbon soot.