Agra city on the banks of the Yamuna river in Uttar Pradesh was on Friday evening hit by a severe thunderstorm, which claimed the lives of three people, including a six-year-old girl, and left 25 others injured.
The thunderstorm barrelled through the city, unleashing rain and windstorm, damaging the marble railing of the main mausoleum at Taj Mahal, houses and uprooting more than 200 trees at different places.
Taking cognisance into the incidents, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia for kin of those who lost their lives in the thunderstorm related incidents in Agra last evening. The Chief Minister has also directed officials to ensure proper treatment to all those injured due to thunderstorm in the city.
Earlier in 2018, two pillars and stones had fallen in the Taj Mahal premises. While on April 11 and May 2 last year, the Royal Gate, the North-West Guldasta pillar of the South Gate collapsed, Guldasta pillars also had fallen in the tombs of Sirhindi Begum and Fatehpuri Begum. Hence, after the destruction took place, automatic gates were installed in Taj Mahal which opens with tokens. Metal detector machines installed on each gate have also collapsed.
Reacting on the same, sources from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has said that everything will be restored soon. The only concern, however, remains that a part of the railing which has fallen towards the Yamuna River will have to be remodelled with stones in the style of Mughal Era. Meanwhile, Agra district administration was assessing the damage caused due to the thunderstorm in the city.
Winds gushed at speed of around 123 kms per hour on Friday evening in Agra, a little less than the speed of cyclone ‘Amphan’ that recently hit West Bengal and caused massive destruction. Hundreds of birds were also reportedly died due to the thunderstorm in Agra.
Maximum damage was reported from Agra-Jaipur highway where several trees were seen uprooted. Areas like Jaipur House and Shahganj were also seen badly affected by the thunderstorm.
The casualties were reported due to a house collapse and other thunderstorm related incidents in Agra, which is already bearing the brunt of Covid-19.