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1,800 cusec water released into Yamuna ahead of Trump visit

1,800 cusec water released into Yamuna ahead of Trump visit

New Delhi: In preparation for United States President Donald Trump's visit to India, while walls have been put up in Gujarat to purportedly hide slums, the government has released around 1,800 cusec of water into the Yamuna river in an attempt to make sure that the American President's view of the Taj Mahal includes a full river in the foreground — and one that does not smell like sewage.

According to environmental activists, a large tranche of the water was released into the Hindon river a few days ago, through which the 500 cusec of water will drain into the Yamuna. In addition, several other tributaries and canals that drain into the river have also been used to supply the surplus water for beautifying Trump's visit to Agra.

Environmental Conservationist Vikrant Tongad said that the excess water, which has been released to impress the US head of state, is most likely being tapped from water reserves of farmers, who will soon require the water for the Wheat season. While he has said that the surplus water will definitely boost aquatic wildlife in the river and that the river's capacity is much larger, Tongad expressed concern over the fact that 1,800 cusec of water — which is almost as much as Delhi's daily water requirement — will be going to waste as it eventually drains into the Bay of Bengal.

Tongad, who also founded Social Action for Forest and Environment, said that Yamuna's water-levels have anyway been dangerously low, and the move might just be welcome given that it will boost the river's life but there are also concerns that the extra water will eat into the supply reserved for farmers and the agriculture sector.

In addition, officials have also said that water has been funneled into the Yamuna from the Ganges through several channels and canals and that it reached the river near Agra on February 22 after going through Mathura. Officials also said that the excess water will help reduce the content of toxic elements and pollutants in the Yamuna.

Meanwhile, all three cities where Trump and the

First Lady are expected to visit during their 36-hour trip in the country have been

seeing robust preparations to beautify and sanitise the areas where the President's motorcade is expected to pass through.

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