Agra gears up for Trump’s visit

Agra: A view of the flooded lawns of Taj Mahal after heavy rains accompanied by storm lashed Agra; on April 12, 2018. The storm uprooted several electric poles and trees. (Photo: IANS)

Agra, Feb 16 (IANS) Agra is gearing up for the visit of US president Donald Trump who is likely to see the Taj Mahal on February 24 evening.

The 15 kilometre long stretch from the Kheria airport to the Taj Mahal is being spruced up, cleared of encroachments and security points identified. Thousands of school children will greet the US president on the way. Special platforms will be readied for cultural pageants on the way. UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath is expected to review arrangements on February 18.

A major cleanliness drive continues on the VIP road with hundreds of municipal workers removing garbage dumps. The VVIP fleet will head from the airport to the hotel Amar Vilas close to the Taj Mahal. The presidential party will then take a ride on electric buses and battery operated golf carts.

The US president is expected to return to New Delhi around 6.30 p.m, the same day.

A five-tier security system will be in place, with deployment of over 800 commandos.

A senior district official said houses and shops along the way were being listed, along with hotels and guest houses. At 60 odd points, there will be roof top security. The annual Taj Mahotsava at the Shilpgram will remain closed for a day.

After Eisenhower and Bill Clinton, Trump will be the third US president to visit the Taj Mahal, the 17th century monument of love.

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