Eight new projects worth Rs 900 crore have been planned by the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan for development in the areas falling under Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ).
Seven of these projects belong to UP while one is for Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
The Taj Trapezium Zone Authority (Pollution Prevention and Control) will soon send the proposals of these projects to the Government of India for approval as the latter will fund 50 per cent of the total project cost.
TTZ Authority was set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1999 for protection and improvement of environment in Taj Trapezium Zone which covers an area of 10,400 square km in the surroundings of Taj Mahal.
After approval of the State Expenditure Finance Committee,TTZ Authority will send these project proposals to the Government of India for consideration under 12th Five Year Plan,said Yashpal Singh,Environment Director,UP.
Among these eight projects,the major one is Rs 606 crore project of developing a barrage on river Yamuna in Agra town,about 8 km down stream of Taj Mahal. This barrage will meet the requirement of drinking water in Agra.
The other projects include Rs 2.44 crore project for maintenance of Gokul barrage,Rs 81.51 crore for System Improvement Plan,Rs 77.63 crore for extensive plantation,Rs 60.68 crore for development of inter-state bus service,Rs 54.83 crorefor development of a new Transport Nagar in Agra,Rs 54.83 for improvement and beautification of various existing parks in Agra and a biodiversity conservation project worth Rs 1.13 crore prepared by Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests,Keoladeo National Park,Bharatpur,Rajasthan.
Singh said the implementation of eight similar projects was started in Agra in TTZ about a decade back but following a litigation work it was stopped. Later,National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI),Nagpur was engaged to conduct Environmental Post Evaluation of these projects.
After NEERI in its report stated that these projects had improved the environment in TTZ,new projects have been prepared,Singh said.