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Agra gets a quick facelift to welcome Donald Trump next week

More than 12,500 flower pots will be in place to beautify the 10.6 km road that connects the Kheria airport and the Taj Mahal when US president Donald trump arrives in Agra on February 24.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2020, 06.47 PM IST
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AGRA: The city of Agra is being spruced up in a hurry to welcome US President Donald Trump on his visit to the Taj Mahal, with the state government arranging flower pots and fixing view cutters along the route.

More than 12,500 flower pots will be in place to beautify the 10.6 km road that connects the Kheria airport in Agra and the Mughal-era monument when the US president and First Lady Melania Trump arrive here on February 24.

The Uttar Pradesh government will also line up 3000 artistes to perform along the route, and bring children from different schools to wave the Indian and American flags as Trump's motorcade passes.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Agra on Tuesday to review the preparations and told officials that there "should be a festive air in the city" when the US first couple arrive.

"We are talking to schools, colleges and ITIs and are identifying certain spots along the route where students can stand and wave flags of the US and India," district magistrate of Agra, Prabhu N Singh, told ET.

Officials will also put up view cutters - hoardings or green matting - at 14 places to mask under-construction buildings and other such spots along the route that cannot be touched up.

Deadlines have been set for cutting and trimming trees, and the removal of banners, hoardings and encroachments along the way. People will be deployed to stop stray animals from wandering on the VVIP route, according to an official document seen by ET.

Cleaning of drains, painting or replacement of dustbins and other such things are also being carried out. Last year, Agra ranked 85th in the Svacchh Survekshan 2019, the national ranking based on cleanliness of cities, a clear improvement from the 102th spot it held the year before.

Reports said state irrigation department officials released 500 cusecs of water into the Yamuna from the Ganganahar in Bulandshahr to improve the river's "environmental condition". The water will reach the Yamuna in Mathura by February 20 and reduce the "foul smell" caused by pollutants in the river.

Trump is expected to arrive around 4.30 pm on Tuesday, according to state officials, and spend a total of two hours in the city and at the Taj before leaving for New Delhi later in the evening.

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