`Road, power projects improved air, water quality around Taj`

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - 21:49

New Delhi: A government study has found
that road and electricity-related projects set up in the Taj
Trapezium Zone (TTZ) over the past decade has remarkably
improved air and water quality around Taj Mahal and other
historical monuments in the region.

Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) is a defined area of 10,400 sq
km around the historic monument to protect it from pollution,
a move which came following a Supreme Court ruling in 1996.

The government had implemented the schemes related to
uninterrupted power supply, augmentation of water supply,
improvement of drainage and sanitation, efficient solid waste
management and tree plantations in the context of
environmental protection of the marble wonder.

A decade later, the post-evaluation done by National
Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) on behalf
of the environment ministry reflects that the road-related
projects have helped in vehicular decongestion on the TTZ
roads, thereby reducing air pollution emissions in the zone.

The report, recently given to the government, said the
implementation of electricity-related projects has helped
improving overall quality of life of the rural population
around Agra and its neighbouring town Fatehpur Sikri.

"This has also resulted in reduction in use of diesel
generators in Agra city and in rural areas for agriculture,
thereby, bringing an improvement in air quality due to reduced
emissions," the findings said.

For further improvement of road network in future, the
NEERI has stressed on the need for more fund to meet increased
traffic volume over the years.. as is evident from the rising
tendency in concentration of Nitrogen dioxide(NO2).

This has, in turn, brought improvement in the ambient air
quality and resulted in positive impact on the Taj Mahal`s
marble and the environment around it, the decade-long study
pointed out.

A project-wise study indicates that construction of one
part of Agra bypass road has led to the reduction of toxic
gases emitted by vehicular traffic.

The report notes that the construction of two new
roads/bypass envisaged in the project will bring about 80 per
cent reduction in emission impact on the 17th century
monument.

"The two bypasses would exchange the traffic at a
distance of 2 and 4 km away from Taj Mahal, which was
otherwise at a distance of 500 meters from it, when these
roads/bypasses were not created," it said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - 21:49

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