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Pollution management strategy for protection of heritage at Agra

Agra is an industrial town and the high levels of air and water pollution generated from the factories and the oil refineries has raised concerned in the national as well as international spheres. The effluents from industrial waste that are drained into the river have reduced the river Yamuna to a sewage drain that releases poisonous gases like methane, sulphur dioxide, etc. The air and water pollution and reduced water levels have had disastrous effects on the timber foundations and the fragile marble tomb of Taj Mahal and other heritage structures in the city.

The objectives of the project were:

To understand to types and causes of pollution and their impact on the heritage of Agra

To understand the present management system and the past efforts towards pollution mitigation

To assess the achievements of past planning schemes and the present status of pollution control in the city.

To give suggestions for pollution control by the coordinated efforts of the managing bodies in order to protect the heritage of Agra

Disaster risk management for the riverfront heritage at Agra

Most of the heritage sites at Agra are located on or near the banks of River Yamuna. The old city also developed around the riparian Agra Fort. Over the course of time the River at Agra has become so shallow that now for almost every year there has been a flood alert during monsoons. Today most of these historic buildings and ruins are located on the Yamuna Kinara Road which runs parallel to the river and is the lifeline of the tourist trade.


During every minor flooding, the road is threatened by the swelling waters. Illegal constructions on the river bed of the receded river have put these areas and lives of those living in these areas at a great risk in case there is a flood.

The second hydro-meteorological hazard that has become a threat to the city is violent storms. These are becoming more and more uncertain and violent with time. In 2018 and 2019 there have been damages to the Taj Mausoleum during violent storms. Many deaths were reported too.

This ongoing project aims to understand the disaster risks at Agra and develop a risk management plan to protect the disaster-prone heritage and urban areas.


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