Publishedduration1 hour agoshareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionIndia's supreme court has accused the government of failing to protect the Taj Mahal

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a metro project aimed at curbing the impact of air pollution on the Taj Mahal.

The rail network, in the northern city of Agra, will connect the 17th Century monument and other historic sites with railway stations and bus stops.

It's estimated the project will cost Rs 8,379.62 crore ($1.1bn; $854.2m) and take five years to complete.

The Taj Mahal is one of the world's leading tourist attractions.

It draws as many as 70,000 people a day.

Taking part in a virtual ceremony, which was broadcast on Twitter, Mr Modi said that the scheme includes 10 million houses for low-income residents.

  • India worried as Taj Mahal changes colour
  • Why is India's Taj Mahal turning green?
  • Reality Check: Whose Taj Mahal is it anyway?

He also highlighted his government's efforts to modernise rail networks nationwide.

In 2018, India's Supreme Court criticised the government for a "failure" to protect the historic site.

During May that year, the court had instructed the government to seek foreign help to fix the "worrying change in colour" of the structure, which was built under the rule of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.