After Allahabad High Court dismissed a plea seeking a ''fact-finding inquiry'' into the history of the Taj Mahal and the "opening of 22 rooms'' on the monument's premises, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) released photographs of two spots where maintenance work was undertaken recently in the closed underground cells on the riverside of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
“The work of maintenance of underground cells on the riverside was taken up. Decayed and disintegrated lime plaster was removed and replaced by laying of lime plaster and traditional lime processing before application” reads the 20th page of the January 2022 newsletter of the Archaeological Survey of India.
Conservation of monuments is the principal duty of the Archaeological Survey of India and we undertake our tasks in a routine matter. We have to take care of the upkeep of national monuments and thus have to look at the critical areas irrespective of the fact that they are closed or open for visitors’ access, said a senior ASI official who preferred not to be named.
“Not only the Taj Mahal but such conservation work is also undertaken at all protected sites having heritage value. For this, we reach the roof and the basement based on the requirement. As such, the conservation work was undertaken in underground cells of Taj Mahal, otherwise not accessible to common visitors, recently from December 2021 to March 2022 about which photographs are now in the public domain,” he stated.