New Delhi, Feb 11: The Environment Ministry has approved the setting up of new cold stores in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), saying these don’t pollute air that causes yellowing of the Taj Mahal.
According to Ministry officials, based on the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) findings, there was no improvement in the area’s air quality after cold stores were shut or new ones not registered.
Since 2016, registration of several industries like hotels and cold stores was barred, leaving potato farmers in the area angry. There are over 250 cold stores in Agra alone.
Following protests by farmers, who faced huge losses due to limited options to store their produce, this decision now has come as a relief and an attempt to douse their anger.
TTZ is a defined area of 10,400 square km around the Taj Mahal to protect the monument from pollution. It includes parts of Agra, Mathura, Firozabad, and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan, where potato is produced.
“We have found that maximum cold stores are not polluting. There is no link to pollution emissions. Also, the air quality did not improve after the ban on new cold stores or other industry.
“We have approved cold stores in the area. The TTZ Authority will now take a call on the matter,” a senior Ministry official said. (IANS)