Agra: The Yamuna and Chambal rivers in Uttar Pradesh are in spate following heavy discharge of water from several barrages and are threatening to flood low-lying areas, officials said on Saturday.
A steamer service ferrying people across Chambal has been suspended after the water level began rising abruptly on Friday.
"Thousands of people used to cross the river daily by the lone steamer. Now they are stranded," said Subodh Sharma, a resident of Pinahat.
The steamer plied between Pinahat in Agra to Morena in Madhya Pradesh, 75 km from here.
The river has swelled due to the releasing of water from the Kota barrage in Rajasthan, sub-divisional magistrate Ramji Lal said.
The Yamuna too is in spate. The water level in Agra is increasing after discharges from barrages upstream.
The Gokul barrage in Mathura has opened its gates, and the discharge from Hindon river has also increased, said irrigation department officials.
The district authorities are drawing up flood control measures.
The water discharge from Okhla barrage on Friday has added to the pressure on Gokul barrage.
The impact of the sudden rise in the water level of Yamuna would be noticeable next week in Agra.
For the moment, the real worry of the authorities is the rising level of water in half a dozen tributaries of Yamuna in Agra district. Villagers have been warned to shift to safer locations.
"With reports coming in of large discharges from Hathini Kund, we could see Yamuna once again touching the danger mark this year," said Abhishek Mehrotra, a member of NGO Vichardhara.
Water conservationists, however, say the rivers should have been cleaned, de-silted and check dams constructed to store the water.
"If they had worked on afforestation and building check dams in the ravines of Yamuna, Parvati, Khari, Utangan and other rivulets, the ground water reserves would have been recharged," said Surendra Sharma, president of Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society.