Taj case: SC allows increase in air traffic in Agra

The Supreme Court on Tuesday modified its December 2019 order and allowed an increase in air traffic in Agra city.

Counsel, representing the Airports Authority of India (AAI), submitted before a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul that the court had allowed it to build an additional terminal and funds have been sanctioned for the project.

Citing an inflow of tourists from all over the world to visit Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and others monuments, counsel contended that increasing the air traffic at the airport is the “need of the hour”.

Advocate A.D.N. Rao, assisting the court as an amicus curiae, said the AAI’s application is for modification of the earlier order of the apex court.

After hearing arguments, the top court noted that the required study has been conducted and also concurrence of the Centre as well as the state has been obtained. It emphasised that permissions, which include environmental clearance, are required to be obtained as it modified its earlier order.

The top court had allowed the AAI to construct an additional terminal at the existing airport in Agra but added a rider that the authority and the Central government would not grant any permission to increase the traffic at the Agra air field until further orders.

In December 2019, Centre’s counsel had informed the apex court that the government would conduct a study to examine the number of tourists who utilise the airport and their increase over the years.

The apex court has been monitoring efforts to protect the Taj Mahal.

20230117-225003

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