Flood re-engulfs UP; Taj Mahal stands safe

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Lucknow, Sep 25 (UNI) With deluge still wreaking havoc in several districts of Uttar Pradesh, the state government denied any threat to the world famous mausoleum Taj Mahal from the gradually swelling river Yamuna in Agra.

The flood situation was critical in 24 districts, where people were facing the fury of the turbulent Ghagra, Sharda and Ramganga rivers. These rivers were flowing over the danger mark at Barabanki, Gonda, Basti, Lakhimpur, Sitapur and Shahjahanpur.

Meanwhile, Army continued with rescue and relief operations in flood-hit Gonda and Barabanki districts.

District Magistrate of Agra Anil Kumar, however, said, ''The Taj Mahal faces no threat from the Yamuna waters as the level of the monument is high despite the increasing water level.'' He sought to deny reports circulated in this regard that the river Yamuna posed threat to the Taj. ''We are constantly monitoring the water level of Yamuna and have found nothing alarming till now,'' he added.

Reports from Barabanki stated that the Army was distributing medicines, food packets and water to the people in the affected villages. However, the Ghagra river was swirling so high that it disallowed the Army to ferry people through motorboats.

The excess water has claimed the lives OF at least six people in the last 24 hrs in Barabanki district.

Meanwhile, plying of vehicles on Behraich-Gonda route remanied suspended after river water came upon the roads.

In Basti, as many as 250 villages of Basti and Harraiya tehsils were running affected, while nearby 100 others were marooned from the swelled Ghagra.

The plying of heavy vehciles has been halted at a bridge situated near Vikramjeet on Basti-Faizabad national highway after the road caved-in.

Basti District Magistrate P K Upadhyay, however, said the movement of lighter vehicles was underway upon the bridge while it was being repaired.

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