Agra, Jan 14 : Thousands of colourful kites lit up the Agra sky on Tuesday evening carrying messages to save Yamuna river in the city of the Taj Mahal at the Etmauddaula view point park.

The annual "patangbazi mahotsava" drew excited men, women and children to the dry Yamuna river bed.

Organised by the River Connect Campaign to mobilise public pressure to save a dying river, the festival was also attended by a variety of politicians, including BJP legislators Yogendra Upadhyay and Purushottam Khandelwal, who promised to speed up the river cleaning operations and persuade the state government to begin work on the Yamuna barrage downstream of the Taj Mahal.

Environment activists said the dry and highly polluted Yamuna river poses a threat to the magnificent Mughal monuments located along its banks.

"We have been demanding uninterrupted flow round the year to save the Yamuna and the aqua life in the river. But the government agencies have done nothing to prevent discharge of sewage and industrial effluents into the river," said activist Rahul Raj.

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