Two mobile air purifier vans have been positioned at the Taj Mahal in Agra as air pollution reaches record levels. It was recently reported that the shiny ivory building would need nine years of mud packing to reduce the staining caused by pollution.
There have also been threats to its exterior from bug excrement turning it green and contamination from the Yamuna River. The country’s air pollution levels reached an all-time high of 20% more than the World Health Organization’s “safe” level, caused by a combination of fossil fuel usage, crop burning and vehicle exhausts. The smog was so bad on November 3 that some planes were unable to land at New Delhi’s international airport, and the government declared a public health emergency and ordered the closure of schools.
Located in Agra, the Taj Mahal is known as a symbol of eternal love. It was built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, as a mausoleum to his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth in 1631. Approximately 20,000 people worked on the building, which was designated a World Heritage Site in 1983. The private air purifier vans have been installed at the famous white marble monument on a trial basis. The officials claim that they are able to purify 1.5 million cubic metres of air in eight hours.
This article was first published on www.lonelyplanet.com.