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Ganga Jal project in Agra postponed till August

Agra's 20 lakh odd residents are supplied water from two water works. Against the demand for 500 MLD, the supply is hardly 300 MLD. The gap is likely to be met by the new Ganga Jal pipeline which will bring Ganges water to Agra.

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Taj Mahal(Agra), Pixabay

A formal inauguration of the ambitious Rs 3,000 crore Ganga Jal project, to ease water supply situation in the Taj city, has again been postponed – to August.

The 130-km-long pipeline from Bulandshahar’s Palra Jhaal canal of the Ganges was to have been commissioned in November last year.

But it was postponed after the refusal of the UP-Forest Department to chop some trees.

"Agra gets only a trickle. Since there is no storage facility in Agra, the monsoon water goes waste," river activist Harendra Gupta said.
River Ganga. Pixabay

Members of the Central Empowered Committee instituted by the Supreme Court visited the site in March and sought to know how the lost green cover would be compensated. A vacant stretch in Firozabad district has now been identified where plantation work would start next month.

Agra’s 20 lakh odd residents are supplied water from two water works. Against the demand for 500 MLD, the supply is hardly 300 MLD. The gap is likely to be met by the new Ganga Jal pipeline which will bring Ganges water to Agra.

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According to Jal Nigam officials presently submersible pumps, tube wells and hand pumps are meeting the additional demand for water.

Since the Yamuna water is stored in upstream barrages from Hathini Kund, Wazirabad, Okhla to Gokul, what flows in the Yamuna in the name of water is plain industrial effluents and domestic waste plus sewer.

“Agra gets only a trickle. Since there is no storage facility in Agra, the monsoon water goes waste,” river activist Harendra Gupta said. (IANS)

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Less Noisy Diwali in Agra this Year, but Pollution Level Goes Up

Air pollution has not come down, but the noise level was definitely controlled and within safe limits

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Agra
Green activist Shravan Kumar Singh said the quality air index in Agra early Monday morning was 380. Pixabay

A less noisy Diwali was observed in Agra this year. While the sale of firecrackers witnessed a dip, the pollution levels did not abate.

“Past midnight there were few sounds of crackers bursting. It was such a relief this year. Earlier, people used to burst crackers the whole night,” said Vijay Nagar colony resident Sudhir Gupta, a financial consultant.

Green activist Shravan Kumar Singh said the quality air index early Monday morning was 380. “But this was much better than Delhi, which touched a hazardous level.” Air pollution has not come down, but the noise level was definitely controlled and within safe limits, Singh noted.

The SPM and RSPM (suspended particulate matter) level continued to remain alarmingly high. The recent measures to green up the borders of the city to filter the winds from the west, have not yielded much result.

“The worst sufferer of air pollution has been the Taj Mahal, hit by dust and mosquitoes that leave greenish excreta on its surface,” said environmentalist Devashish Bhattacharya.

“For sure the awareness level is rising. Children have been sensitised in schools and we could see the message being translated into action, not wholly but in part. A positive beginning has been made,” said Yamuna activist Rahul Raj Savita.

Agra
A less noisy Diwali was observed in Agra this year. While the sale of firecrackers witnessed a dip, the pollution levels did not abate. Pixabay

“Since Monday morning, there was hardly any firecracker bursting. Either people have no money to buy firecrackers, or they have become sensitive and concerned about the pollution,” added activist Deepak Rajput.

The district authorities had opened 17 markets for firecrackers this year, but after Saturday evening’s fire at the Sultanpura pataka bazar, the police and the fire brigade were put on alert, and a large number of people chose to play safe.

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But, whatever the reason, the city seemed to have responded to the government appeal for a cleaner and safer festival. (IANS)