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Water woes continue in Agra

Agra, May 22 (Calcutta Tube) Seventeen years after 17 people died and dozens fell sick after drinking water supplied by the Agra Water Works, water continues to remain the number one problem of the city of the Taj Mahal.

Social activists and environmental groups observed the 17th anniversary of the water tragedy that took place in Khateek Para locality on May 21, 1993 at an event here Friday evening.

At a meeting of angry residents of the area, members of the victims’ families recalled how the Uttar Pradesh government made tall promises of rehabilitating and compensating them but nothing had yet been done.

Congress leader T. Rajaura said the black anniversary ‘still continues to remind us of the city’s water woes and utter lack of sensitivity at the highest level’.

The city of the Taj still suffers from acute water shortage and the little that is supplied remains qualitatively poor.

An official of the Water Works said: ‘What can be done when the river Yamuna is dry and the little that trickles down is all waste and effluents from cities upstream of Agra, notably Delhi.’

The dry river Yamuna is a grave threat to the Taj Mahal and other monuments on its banks but the governments in New Delhi and Lucknow have not shown any interest in tackling the problem, according to social activists Megh Singh Yadav and Netra Pal Singh.

‘Only when lakhs of people will die drinking poisonous, toxic water in the Yamuna, will perhaps the powers that be wake up,’ said hotelier Surendra Sharma.

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