Conservation work underway at Taj Mahal

Agra, Feb 22 (ANI): The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has embarked on a conservation plan to restore the beauty of Taj Mahal.

Cracks had become visible on the walls of the monument raising concerns over the structural safety.

Experts said that due to the low water level in the Yamuna river the water-borne foundation of the Taj was drying up. They also said that lack of Yamuna water is leading to cracks in the stones and the pollution level in Agra affected the monument the most.

“All the monuments come under the category of conservation. Since these are very old monuments, thus restoration work keeps on happening. At present, we have taken lot of restoration work of Taj Mahal. It mainly includes restoration of main dome of the monument where some ‘pointing’ work was hampered due to water leakage, and now it’s almost complete. The repair work at underground cells, restoration of cracks and approach pathway work is also underway at present,” said D.N Dimri, superintendent, ASI.

Tourists did not mind missing an unhindered view of the majestic monument for the sake of posterity.

“I think it’s fantastic that the government and bureaucrats are spending time, efforts and money in keeping the Taj looking beautiful and preserving it for future generations,” said Raj Gupta, a tourist from United States.

Many historians have raised concerns in the past of the continual lack of water reaching the monument. (ANI)

Scottish honour for JK Rowling

London, Feb 12 (ANI): British author JK Rowling has agreed to have her handprints preserved for posterity in Scotland’s capital Edinburgh, where she is said to have penned the first Harry Potter book.

Rowling, who is said to have started writing the schoolboy wizard’s first adventure in an Edinburgh caf‚, has already been immortalised in a stone that has been given pride of place outside the City Chambers.

Now the author has had her handprints done in accordance with the civic award she received last year, which made her the second person to win the Edinburgh Award.

The award is given to individuals “whose outstanding achievements have brought honour to the city”, with ‘The Rebus’ author Ian Rankin being the first to receive it.

“I was delighted to receive the Edinburgh Award, as this city and its wonderful inhabitants have meant so much to me for the last 15 years,” the Scotsman quoted her as saying.

“It is particularly appropriate for a writer’s hands to be represented, so I am deeply honoured to have my keyboard-chipped fingernails, not to mention my pen-induced friction callous, commemorated in the place where I produced Harry Potter,” she added. (ANI)