Agra battles record rain in 12 hours

The Taj city of Agra was battling the consequences of a record 142 mm downpour in just 12 hours a day earlier.

Agra: The Taj city of Agra was on Saturday battling the consequences of a record 142 mm downpour in just 12 hours a day earlier.

This year Agra has had 1,003 mm of rain against the annual average of around 675 mm.

It took the entire day Friday for shopkeepers and traders to assess the huge losses as rain water filled their warehouses and entered even some of the glitzy showrooms, all decked up for the festive season.

On Saturday, the municipal corporation was still pumping out water from shopping complexes and residential colonies.

Some roads collapsed and parts of the underground drains caved in, causing more problems.

The blame game continues.

"When you illegally construct nursing homes or shopping complexes and fill up ponds to raise structures, what do you expect?" asked Shravan Kumar Singh, an exasperated activist.

Water entered several private nursing homes while entire colonies were marooned on Friday.

In the rural hinterland, the situation was worse as fields got submerged by a sea of water.

Farmer Ravi Singh said the heavy rains had damaged the bajra crop.

The region involving Agra district and surrounding areas has been lashed by unprecedented rains.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had to cancel their public meeting at Mainpuri due to the wet season.

In 1910, Agra received 169 mm in a single day.

"But those days there was no problem of water logging and the city was much smaller in size and population," said social activist Anand Rai.

"Now Agra is spread out and the natural waterways have all been usurped by greedy land sharks," Rai said.