Agra gears up to face flood fury

September 22nd, 2008 - 5:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Sep 22 (IANS) Expecting the river Yamuna to breach the danger mark Tuesday night, district authorities in Agra Monday sounded the flood alert and began moving people from low lying areas to safer places. Heavy rains in the hills and continued discharges from barrages upstream in the Yamuna have raised chances of a flood in the Agra district.

In Mathura the water level has already started rising and is expected to peak Tuesday.

The Gokul Barrage gates are being opened to release pressure.

Divisional Ccommissioner Avinash Kumar Srivastav told media persons that both Agra and Mathura district administrations were prepared to meet any eventuality.

District authorities have held several rounds of meetings with field staff and alerted them about the impending flood situation which could create problems in many villages along the river bank.

Subhash Jha, a village functionary of Barauli Aheer block told IANS that arrangements for safe transfer of villages are being made and villagers are being warned to move to higher areas.

District magistrate Anil Kumar has asked village level workers to stock food grains and essential supplies. The health department has been alerted. The DM has counselled people not to be panicky. A control room has also been opened in Agra collectorate.

The last flood Agra faced was way back in 1978.

The Yamuna in Agra has been heavily encroached upon and there is no flood plain management.

“The river bed has risen two to three metres in the past 25 years because of heavy siltation. This could create a problem as the flood waters could breach the embankments in the city,” Ravi Singh, an environmentalist said.

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