The white marble mausoleum will be adopted by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) at a function attended by Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi who will arrive in Agra from Delhi in a decorated bus on Wednesday.

"It is the crown jewel among the tourist destinations in India and naturally is a priority destination under the campaign Clean India," the ministry said.

Agra district authorities said that the Tourism Minister will first visit the Taj Mahal along with officials and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Director General and then inaugurate the Clean India campaign from the Taj Khema Hotel with the Taj Mahal in the backdrop.

The ONGC has taken the responsibility to clean up the area within and outside the 17th century marble mausoleum. District Magistrate Zuher Bin Sagir said, "It's a very important programme for us and we have made elaborate preparations. Agra deserves higher standards of cleanliness."

Agra Municipal Commissioner DK Singh said that at present the ASI looks after cleanliness inside the Taj Mahal complex and the roads leading to the monument are maintained by the Agra Development Authority.

At the initiative of the Tourism Ministry, the ASI has agreed to the proposal of ONGC for adopting five more monuments under the Clean India campaign.

The monuments, besides the Taj, are Ellora & Elephanta Caves in Maharashtra, the Red Fort in Delhi, Golkonda Fort near Hyderabad, and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.

Clean India campaign is part of the Central Government's strategy for 12th Five Year Plan for improving the quality of services. The campaign is aimed at undertaking both sensitization and action at field level on bringing tourism destinations and their surroundings to an expectable level of cleanliness and hygiene.

The campaign is being implemented with the involvement of private and public sector stakeholders.


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