Agra: UP Irrigation Minister Dharam Pal Singh on Sunday announced initial release of Rs 50 crore to begin work on the much awaited Rs 706 crore barrage on river Yamuna, downstream of the Taj Mahal.
Members of the River Connect Campaign immediately welcomed the announcement and held a special thanksgiving programme at the Etmauddaula view point park, where a daily evening Aarti Sabha is being held for past several years to demand a barrage on the Yamuna. Singh told the media that the project had been named "Taj Barrage project". "This will become an additional international tourist spot as visitors would be able to take boat rides and view the Taj Mahal from the rear. He expected another 5,000 tourists to benefit from the project which will give a big boost to tourism in Agra.The minister informed that in addition to Yamuna six other rivers in the state had been taken up for rejuvenation and restoration of the original character. The rivers are Gomti, Tamsa, Varuna, Sai, Arel and Sot, which will be dredged and desilted. Superintending Engineer Irrigation Naresh Chandra Upadhyaya said the Taj Barrage will be 475 metre long and have 22 gates. The height of the stored water will be three metres, allowing for boating and ferry rides.