Rain ends dry spell in UP’s Braj area

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Agra, July 22 (IANS) An hour-long downpour on Saturday ended the dry spell in the Braj area of Uttar Pradesh, officials said.

The day spell had sent alarm bells ringing, raising fears of a drought.

“Half a dozen girls in Mathura and Agra had sat on fast to appease the rain gods. I hope their prayers are answered,” said Barauli Ahir farmer Ravi Singh.

“Hopefully, light showers on Friday and heavy showers this morning will change the scenario,” added Bichpuri farmer Ranjit.

The district agriculture department had drawn up contingency plan and prepared elaborate advisory for farmers to face the dry spell during the Kharif season.

As feared, the low lying areas in Agra were flooded and potholes filled with water. “The Agra Nagar Nigam has installed pumps at various locations to flush out the storm water,” an official said.

Even with continued heavy rains in the hills, the Yamuna river is dry.

“The upstream barrages have not yet discharged surplus water. The Agra Canal from the Okhla barrage runs dry in Agra district,” Shashikant Upadhyaya of Ukharra village said.

Though the sky is overcast since the past few days, Mathura and Vrindavan did not get good rains, said Pavan Gautam, a river activist in Mathura.

–IANS

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