Water Museum in Mathura gets nod of approval

2023.10.14 (Vrindavan Today News): The Government of Uttar Pradesh is committed for the all round development of Mathura District. It is working for achieving sustainable development in a balanced and integrated manner.  After Asia’s largest city forest in making and proposal for the restoration of Wetland at Jodhpur Jhal, the government has mooted the idea of developing a Water Museum in Mathura District near Chhata.

The idea of a Water Museum, conceived almost two and a half years ago, aimed at raising awareness about water conservation through research, seminars, and tourism development, is now set to become a reality. Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Secretary, Durga Shankar Mishra, has directed the Irrigation Department to transfer the land for this project to the Tourism Department. The Uttar Pradesh Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad (UPBTVP) will oversee the development of this museum, which will be situated on approximately 12 acres of land near the highway in Chhata.

In the sixth board meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad, chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on June 24, 2023, the development of the Water Museum was discussed and approved. This project has been in the pipeline for nearly two and a half years. To move this project forward, a discussion was held in a meeting in Lucknow on Thursday regarding the transfer of approximately 5.475 hectares of land owned by the Irrigation Department near the national highway-19, in the village of Ajizpur, Chhata.

Mukesh Meshram, Principal Secretary of Tourism, explained that this land near the highway in Ajizpur, Chhata, with an area of 5475 hectares, was previously used for operating a hotel by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation under the name of Kosi Restaurant. However, this establishment has been closed for the past two decades, and the building is in a state of disrepair.

One side of this land is adjacent to the Irrigation Department’s canal, which ensures an adequate supply of freshwater to the area. Given that groundwater in many parts of Mathura district is saline, and drinking water needs to be transported from distant places, the proposal to develop a Water Museum on this land is seen as a promising step. This museum will not only educate local residents about the importance and utility of water but also provide informative knowledge to tourists visiting Mathura and Vrindavan about water conservation in an engaging way. If a Water Museum is established on this underutilized land, it will also contribute to the growth of tourism in the region.

The land transfer was stalled due to a technicality. The land for the Water Museum project was initially transferred to the Indian Tourism Development Corporation Ltd., New Delhi, by the Irrigation Department in 1976. For several years, this unit has been non-operational and is now due to be returned to the state government. Since the land was transferred from the Irrigation Department to the Tourism Department via the Indian Tourism Development Corporation, the state government will need to transfer it back to the Tourism Department, which will, in turn, oversee the development of the Water Museum through the Uttar Pradesh Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad.

The officials present at the meeting included Anil Garg, Principal Secretary of Irrigation and Water Resources Department, Uttar Pradesh Government; Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary of Tourism and Culture Department; Nagendra Pratap, Chief Executive Officer, Uttar Pradesh Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad; Pranav Prakash, Assistant Director-General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Lokesh Kumar Agrawal, Director of Finance, ITDC; Gyan Prakash Srivastava, Executive Engineer, Third Division, Irrigation Works, Agra; and Bachchan Singh, Executive Engineer, Upper Agra Canal, Irrigation Department, Mathura.

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