Heavy downpour in Agra, Chambal about to touch danger mark

Agra, Aug 18 (IANS) A heavy downpour drenched Agra early on Sunday, flooding low-lying areas in the city. Weathermen have forecast continued showers for next two days.

The usually dry Yamuna river is flowing full, as copious quantities of water have been released by upstream barrages. The Hathini Kund barrage released more than a lakh cusecs on Friday. The Okhla and the Gokul barrages have similarly discharged heavily last two days raising the water level in Agra to 486 feet.

South of Agra, the river Chambal is also flooded, with regular release of water from barrages in Kota. On Saturday, more than 1.62 lakh cusecs were discharged by the Kota barrage, after heavy rains in the catchment areas in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The Agra administration has sounded high alert as water breached into more than half a dozen villages on the bank of the river. Authorities fear the danger mark could be breached late Sunday evening.

Steamers have been pressed into service to provide relief to the flooded villages. Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Mahesh Gupta said eight check posts have been created to keep an eye on the flood situation.

Meanwhile, the Forest and Wildlife Department has geared up to rescue crocodiles and ghariyals (alligators), as also tortoises, in the Chambal. In Pinahat area a crocodile entered a house on Friday. The Wildlife SOS team rescued the mugger crocodile and released it in the river.

--IANS

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