Agra: The inordinate delay in granting permission for construction of a barrage on the Yamuna in Agra, about one-and-a half km from the Taj Mahal, could end up endangering the monument of love. According to experts, the Taj Mahal is built on massive wooden slippers that have shrunk over the years because of the decrease in the flow of the Yamuna. “If a barrage is constructed, it would not only add to the life of the Taj Mahal but would also beautify the surroundings with a waterfront. The matter has been pending clearance and we cannot understand the reason for the delay,” said an ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) official who did not wish to be named.
The beauty of the Taj Mahal is no longer reflected in the waters of the Yamuna because the river is almost dry and filled with sewage waste. The Yogi Adityanath government, in October 2017, had announced a sum of Rs. 350 crore for the construction of a rubber check dam. The Chief Minister had said that the rubber check dam on the Yamuna will ensure availability of sufficient water in the river throughout the year. Besides addressing the water requirement of a large number of people in Agra and nearby areas, it will prove to be a milestone in the promotion of tourism.
A senior civic body official said,
A rubber check dam in Agra would have been the first of its kind in the state. It would not only have ensured adequate water supply in the city but also helped in river conservation. The rubber dam, apart from acting as a reservoir, was designed to primarily focus on increasing water flow of Yamuna in order to reduce pollution levels.
Archaeologists and conservationists have already rung the alarm bells on lack of water in the Yamuna. The then BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) MP (Member of Parliament) from Agra, Ram Shankar Katehria, said that a dry Yamuna was a threat to the Taj Mahal. He said,
Several studies have been carried out on this. There are shafts of wood holding together the foundation of the monument. This wood needs to be moistened by the river’s waters to lend strength to the foundation. But the water table below the structure is depleting because of a dry Yamuna.
He said that there are references to ebony shafts that hold together the Taj Mahal’s stone and mortar foundation in various books on the historical monument. According to sources in the state government, a discussion on the barrage scheme began in the union environment ministry in October 2018.
A committee led by representatives from CSIR-National Environment Engineering Research Institute, known as NEERI, wanted the project to be evaluated by the Environment Appraisal Committee (EAC).
The EAC found that the project was more suited for evaluation by another committee which, after its meeting in May, returned it back to EAC. As the file moves from one committee to another, the Yogi government has also not evinced keen interest in getting its expedited.
A senior Tourism official said,
At the moment we are busy with projects involving Ayodhya and Varanasi and we have not had the time to follow the Agra dam issue. We will do it as soon as we are through with other projects.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.
Leaving No One Behind
Delhi’s Northwest District Launches 4-Day COVID Vaccination Drive For Transgender People
Activists say misinformation, lack of proper documents and digital divide are to be blamed for the low vaccination coverage in...
5.22 Per Cent Transgender Persons Vaccinated Till Now; Activists Say Misinformation, Lack Of Digital Knowledge Adding To Their Problems
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also requested states to organise separate mobile COVID-19 vaccination centres or booths...
Discrimination And Barriers Make Access To Quality Healthcare A Challenge For Many Transgenders
Transgender individuals have specific healthcare needs; however, they face multiple obstacles to accessing quality health care ranging from social stigma...
Uttar Pradesh’s First Transgender-Only Toilet Built In Varanasi
According to an official at the municipal corporation of Varanasi, the operation and maintenance of the toilet complex has been...
Mental Health Explained: What Is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD is an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of the event: CDC, United States
How Can Parents Support Children Dealing With Mental Health Issues Like Anxiety And Depression
Remember, a change in a child’s behaviour like mood swings and angry outbursts is an indication of inner turmoil, said...
Upward Trend In Suicide Cases: How Can You Identify Red Signals In Time?
Studies show that suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-29 year old in India. What compels young adults...
Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The surging Delta variant is heaping on fresh trauma as the United States and other nations begin to study Post-Traumatic...
Depression Can Be Classified As Serious Illness In Context Of COVID-19 Pandemic: Gujarat High Court
The Gujarat High Court set aside the cancellation of registration and admission of an engineering student by a government college...
U.N. Says World Likely To Miss Climate Targets Despite COVID Pause In Emissions
There is now a 40 per cent chance that the average global temperature in one of the next five years...
Make The Choices That Help Make A Difference, John Kerry, Special US Envoy On Climate Change Crisis
In an exclusive interview with NDTV, US climate envoy John Kerry talks about climate change emergency
Climate Change Biggest Global Challenge, India Committed To Combat It: Union Environment Minister
Speaking at the launch of Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD) under India-US Climate Clean Energy Agenda 2030, Union...
Rajasthani Artisan Creates Ganesh Idols From Environment-Friendly Materials
Unlike idols made out of synthetic materials which cause harm to water bodies after their immersion, eco-friendly idols that artist...