Agra: With the water level of the river Yamuna rising ominously, the flood situation Friday here was described as grim by the district authorities who were shifting people along the banks to safer areas.
The Yamuna was flowing almost two feet above the 495-foot danger mark Friday, having touched 496.2 feet Thursday.
With more water being discharged from Gokul and Okhla barrages Thursday, the level was expected to rise to 499 feet by Saturday, according to state irrigation department sources.
River water has accumulated in the low-lying areas near the banks of the Yamuna.
The authorities were concerned over the backflow in the dozen odd drains along the banks of the river which could cause health problems.
"If the level touched 500 feet, the water supply to the city could also be affected," said an official of the Agra Water Works.
In Mathura and Vrindavan, the Yamuna water has already entered many areas, especially Naujheel area.
"In some parts of the district the water was almost touching the main roads. The low-lying areas in Goverdhan were already submerged in water and will take weeks to be flushed out," said Acharya Jaimini of Vrindavan.
The panic in Agra was already visible with hundreds of people vacating their homes on the river front. The district authorities have set up temporary shelters at three different places.
Visitors to the Taj Mahal continued to question guides about the safety of the monument which, according to the Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) superintending archaeologist Indudhar Dwivedi, is safe and sound.
It was natural for locals to be alarmed about the safety of the Taj Mahal, activist Rajan Kishore said.