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Friday, July 12, 2013 2:28:21 PM (IST)  

Agra drains overflow, Taj sparkles in the rain

Agra, July 12 (IANS): Three spells of heavy showers since Friday morning have brought life to a halt in this Taj city in Uttar Pradesh. Water-logging has been reported from many parts of the city, but the Taj Mahal stood washed and sparkling.

Traffic snarls have affected otherwise busy commercial areas. At Sanjay Place Commercial Complex on MG Road, the city's lifeline, there was flooding at different points.

"At the LIC (Life Insurance Corporation) building crossing, it has taken hours for the rain water to clear. The Nagar Nigam (city authority) has put up diesel pumps to flush water out. It's the same story every year," insurance agent Sudheir Gupta said.

Heavy rain had lashed the city Thursday too.

Vishal, who owns a photograhy studio in the city, said: "The St. John's College crossing is under water, and movement of vehicles has been badly affected."

Vehicles that entered the city from the Yamuna Expressway via the newly constructed Ambedkar Setu were held up for hours under the Strachey Bridge.

Low-lying colonies were inundated, as the choked drainage system prevented free flow.

"So far, the monsoon has been very good, exceeding the average for this time of year," said progressive farmer of Barauli Aheer Ravi Singh, adding that village ponds had filled up, and the canal system was full of water.

The weather department has forecast rains till Sunday.

"With the Taj closed Friday, tourists flocked to Mehtab Bagh at its rear for a glimpse of the (17th century) monument of love, now rain-washed and sparkling, the dense green foliage too washed to freshness and the Yamuna, for change, actually full of water," Amit Sisodia of the NGO Agra Beat said.

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