Bridges on river Yamuna
Four new bridges on the river Yamuna are to be constructed. The one close to the Etmauddaula will divert inbound traffic towards the national highway to Delhi. A bridge for light vehicles is to come up near Runukta under the Rs.1200 crore Gangajal project to bring water from a canal of the Ganges to Agra through a conduit pipe. To connect the Yamuna Expressway from Greater Noida to Fatehabad road via Kuberpur, a new bridge is to be constructed. Another bridge waiting clearance will connect the proposed Bypass road from Firozabad Road to Gwalior Road. The new Ring Road will cost Rs.880 crores.
The state government has sanctioned Rs.260 crores for puchase of new eco-friendly buses to augment the local transport fleet.
A new Transport Nagar
A new Transport Nagar, Rs.200 crore project, has been cleared by the state government. Land for it has been identified near Runukta village from where the Southern Bypass Road to connect Gwalior Road is being constructed. Heavy vehicles from Delhi and north for Mumbai and South India will not have to enter the city.
A barrage on river Yamuna
Plans have also been drawn up for construction of a barrage on river Yamuna, downstream of the Taj Mahal. This will ensure there is water round the year behind the Taj Mahal. Conservationists have long been demanding water in the river Yamuna for the safety of the marble marvel, but the project has been bogged down in political wrangles for the past three decades.
River Front (The Agra Chowpati)
A new project to develop a Mumbai like Chowpati, under the Rs.160 crore River Front project with private sector participation has been cleared. The stretch from Babar’s Ram Bagh to Etmauddaula, around four kilometers, will be developed with spacious pathways, amusement parks, plazas, malls, auditoriums and ampitheatres. This will definitely attract the tourists who would be able to spend more time in Agra.
The city will soon have a multi-speciality hospital at a cost of Rs.150 crores. A demand for better health facilities had been made time and again but the state government always coldstoraged the project due to resources crunch. At the same time steps are to be initiated to upgrade and modernize facilities at the SN Medical College, for which funds have been allocated.
Kuberpur Landfill project
The new Landfill site at Kuberpur on the Firozabad has already received the government nod. City garbage, around 350 tons daily will be processed and converted into green fuel. An efficient arrangement for collecting garbage and transporting it to the new landfill site has been drawn up, for which the state government has earmarked Rs.120 crores.
Two new flyovers
The city will have two new flyovers to ease traffic pressure. The first is to come up at the Ravli bridge and the other at the Double Phatak road-rail crossing on Mathura road. The city’s traffic system will breathe a little easier once the plan to widen the MG Road, Agra’s life line, is taken up early next year.
More Public Toilets
The Municipal Corporation of Agra has plans to construct modern public toilets with private sector involvement. Already a dozen on the MG Road are waiting formal opening. In the past there has been persistent demand for public conveniences specially around historical monuments. “It is such an embarrassing sight watching people easing around bushes or vehicles. But you can’t blame them when there are no facilities. The Nagar Nigam has built several new toilets and more will be added soon,” says municipal commissioner Shyam Singh Yadav whose commitment to promoting shooting has given Agra its own shooting range, one of the best in the country. Yadav said he would soon take up steps to “modernize and renovate the Gandhi Smriti Park in the Trans Yamuna area and also build a ghat at the bank of river Yamuna.” Due to his efforts the Taj Municipal Museum has been started in the John’s Public Library. Local people must seriously get involved in Agra’s overall development and maintenance of urban amenities, Yadav added.
Better roads under JNNURM
The Agra Development Authority (ADA) has drawn up an ambitious programme to repair and lay new roads with more than Rs 800 crores under the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission. The 2021 master plan will lay emphasis on laying new roads and restructuring the older ones which will be widened and strengthened. Around Rs.40 crores will be spent on roads around monuments. Once the project is executed the city’s arterial roads and the main life line will make for smoother traffic movement and present a better picture of the city.
Massive Housing Development
The Agra Development Authority has already taken up a massive housing development programme. The Taj Nagri phase one and two, the ADA Heights and the International City project on the Fatehabad are all set to change the profile of this decadent city. In recent years the private sector builders have launched more than a dozen big township projects, many of which have been commercially profitable and have added to the city’s infrastructure.
Lovers’ Lane on Fatehabad Road
A project has been drawn up to construct a private space for the tourists, to leisurely stroll in the evenings. Called Lovers’ Lane, the lane will start from Amar Hotel and end up near the Trident Hotel, a fairly long walk which will eventually connect to Taj Mahal. “It will be green covered with thick foliage, shrubs, benches along the way, kiosks for eatables and soft drinks to cater to the tourists,” says an official.
Better sewage, water and power supply assured
The UP Jal Nigam has taken up an extensive project to lay a sewage network connecting distant townships and colonies, while the Agra Water Works is drawing up schemes to augment water supply. Once the Japanese Bank supported Gangajal project is commissioned the water problem is likely to be permanently solved.
More Hotels to cope with tourist rush
Agra already with half a dozen big hotels and hundreds of smaller ones, will have at least three big hotel projects soon, adding to room availability.
This indeed will be the first serious concerted approach of several government agencies to develop facilities of international class designed to support the “smokeless tourism industry,” which so far has always received a raw deal despite the huge contribution to the exchequer.