DEHRADUN: Ahead of Donald Trump's visit to Agra, Uttarakhand has been releasing over 10,000 cusec water from river Ganga since February 17 every day into Yamuna to provide a 'pleasant experience' to the US President and his wife.
Donald Trump and Melania Trump are scheduled to visit the Taj on February 23, 2020.
Vikram Saini, sub-divisional officer, Haridwar told The New Indian Express, "Total volume of 10,500 cusecs water is being released from Ganga in Haridwar for multiple usages including irrigation, drinking and other purposes. Out of this, some of it is being diverted every day to Yamuna in Agra as far as I know. This is a special arrangement for the visit of the President of US".
A state irrigation department official also revealed it is for the first time that water from the Ganga river is being diverted to Yamuna river apart from the routine release during the summer.
The demand every year ranges between 6500-13000 cusecs every day what with the summer, drought, supply for irrigation, drinking and the need for other purposes.
The Uttar Pradesh government's order to the Agra irrigation circle dated February 17, 2020 states release of a total of 950 cusecs of water from three canals into the river Yamuna to clean it before the much-awaited visit by the US President.
However, the officials from the irrigation department in Agra said that only 650 cusecs water is being released against the proposed 950 cusecs.
Officials from Agra on the condition of anonymity also added that the arrangement is 'temporary' in nature and will make the river clean with increased water flow for 2-4 days.
Anil Prakash Joshi, Padma Bhushan awardee, said, "It is good to see that the government machinery and the system is active due to VIP visit. At least the river will be cleaned for now."
The seer community in Haridwar also welcomed the decision. Sadhvi Prachi, a saint from Haridwar, said, "Ganga Maa purifies everyone and water from the holy river is for all in the country. It is a good thing and I welcome the decision."