Rubber check dams suggested to conserve Yamuna water

Agra, Jan 31 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh is looking to install rubber check dams in the Yamuna river close to the Taj Mahal to conserve water for the lean months.

At a meeting Friday, Agra divisional commissioner Pradip Bhatnagar directed the Uttar Pradesh irrigation department to install rubber check dams close to the Taj Mahal and the Agra Water Works.
During the meeting, attended by several government officials, he told the monitoring committee of the Taj Trapezium Zone that rubber dams would be able to store water and thus solve the problem of water shortage in the city.
According to water experts, rubber dams are in use in many countries as they are cost effective, convenient and did not require permanent structures.
The inflatable flexible membrane dams bolted into concrete foundations are useful to divert water, water retention for aquifer recharge, allowing fish and other aquatic life to escape.
The directorate of water management in Bhubaneswar has developed the rubber dam technology, sources said.
The rubber dam’s height can be adjusted up to 1.5 metres by inflating the rubber sheets by filling water and air and the level can be reduced by releasing the same.
For a long time, the demand for a barrage in the Yamuna downstream of the Taj Mahal has been pending with the state government and due to technical objections, no headway has been made.
Officials said the rubber dams at several locations could help to sort out the problem to a large extent.
Besides, the divisional commissioner has directed the Agra Development Authority not to clear any house plan until there is a link up with the sewer line.
Most colonies that have come up in the past few years, including dozens of high rise buildings do not have sewer connectivity.
In many cases the waste water including the sewer is discharged into the earth through borings.
On several occasions, the environmentalists have raised an alarm as the discharge of untreated sewer and waste could poison the underground reserves.