Agra: 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.
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.
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.