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Flood situation in Agra worsens, Most of Taj Corridor under water

Monday, September 27, 2010 08:09:42 AM, IANS

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Agra: The flood situation in the Agra region took an alarming turn as the water level in Yamuna crossed the medium flood level of 152.09 metres Sunday evening, submerging most of the Taj Heritage Corridor and the waterworks, cutting off supplies to half of this Taj city

The river level is feared to touch 152.4 metres Monday morning, according to officials here.

More colonies and ghats were under water and the district authorities continued to persuade people to shift to safer areas.

A youth who couldn't resist the temptation to jump into the swollen river remain untraced. Police said Ramesh, 25, jumped into the river close to the 'Gyarah Sirhi', a historical landmark on the river bank.

Police personnel looked for his body but failed to find it till late Sunday night.

The alarming rise in the river's level affected the Agra Water Works which failed to supply drinking water to almost half the city.

The Yamuna water submerged most parts of the controversial Taj Heritage Corridor sandwiched between the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal. The Mantola nullah drain water entered the moat of the Agra Fort.

"The sickening collection of polythene bottles and bags into the drain and the dirty water accumulating in the moat will create enormous problems for the civic administration in the post-flood stage," said an official of the municipal corporation.

Water had already submerged the popular Taj Ganj cremation ghat and the electric crematorium was closed Sunday. The Dussehra ghat adjacent to the Taj was knee-deep in water, while the artificially developed park at the rear of the Taj Mahal was under water, most washed away by the flood fury.

"Humans could not clean the river Yamuna, but nature has done it for us this year. Heaps of polluted garbage and illegal structures in the flood plains have been washed away. One hopes people will learn a lesson and not play with nature," said green activist Ravi Singh

Meanwhile tourists visiting the Taj Mahal were advised to stay away from the swollen river. Colonies in the Balkeshwar and Dayalbagh areas have been inundated.

At least a dozen localities along the banks have been badly hit by the floods. In the rural segment, district authorities said the situation was worsening as more villages were cut off. Crops have been destroyed in Manoharpur, Tanaura, Bahadurpur and parts of Etmadpur tehsil.

In the historic Bateshwar, 70 kms from the city, the 101 Shiva temples along the Yamuna bank have been hit hard and water entered the compounds of many temples threatening the foundations.

More than 30 villages in the Bah tehsil had been badly hit by the Yamuna floods.

The main sewage drains of the city were choked and backflowing, creating hygiene problems.







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