The project to improve the infrastructure and long-term sustainability of the iconic Taj Mahal proposed by the Uttar Pradesh government. It is to construct a barrage across the Yamuna, a kilometre and a half away from the Taj Mahal, is stuck between two expert committees of the Union Environment Ministry.
Each committee, consisting of eminent experts, thinks that it’s the other panel that should be taking a call on the future of the project, a perusal of the public records of meetings and discussions in the Ministry shows.
The project of the Irrigation Department envisages construction of a barrage for “securing the foundation of the Taj Mahal, improving the water level at Agra, beautifying and navigating the Yamuna at 1.50 km downstream of the Taj Mahal.” Water all through the year, Such storage, generally used in irrigation and hydro-electricity projects, would ensure a minimum quantity of water all through the year.
It would help to recharge the groundwater and facilitate navigation through river routes. That stretch of the Yamuna is a National Waterway (Delhi to Allahabad) and the barrage would serve as an alternative to motorised transport and would also help to develop a green belt around the pond which would “improve the environment around the Taj Mahal”, the project proponents say.