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Will this project save Taj Mahal?

A project for Rehabilitation / Renovation of Agra Sewerage Scheme (Interception & Diversion Works) has been conceived at a total cost of Rs. 857.26 crore including O&M cost for 15 years. The Executive Committee (EC) of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved project aimed at helping to save Taj from further damage.

The major components of the project include tapping of 61 nalas/drains, construction of 3 Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP’s) of total capacity 166 MLD, construction of 10 decentralized STPs of 9.38 MLD and renovation of 2 existing STPs, laying of rising main of 17.61 km, renovation of Sewage Pumping Station (SPS), renovation of STPs renovation of interception work, upgradation of STPs (for chlorination), and operation & maintenance for 15 years. These projects are expected to drastically reduce pollution load from Agra city into the river Yamuna, helping to save the Taj Mahal and leading to improvement of river water quality, ground water quality and overall aesthetics of the area.

In all, the Executive Committee (EC) of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved ten projects worth Rs 1573.28 crore. In a meeting held on Tuesday in the presence of Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, it was decided that a comprehensive solution needed to be worked out to address Yamuna’s pollution issues in Agra.

Agra, where Taj Mahal is located, is considered to be world’s 8thmost polluted city. Due to pollution in the area, white-marble Taj Mahal is turning yellow and green. As the city’s sewage is discharged into river Yamuna untreated, the fast drying river has become breeding ground for tiny insects which gather on the 7thWonder of the World and their excrement staining the white marble and turning it into a green structure. The court had slammed the government in the past for not doing enough to preserve the monument. Despite that ground realities have not changed and the monument built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz had started losing its original colour.

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