NEW DELHI: Ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Agra, the Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department has released 500 cusecs of water from Bulandshahr into River Yamuna to improve its “environmental condition”, reports said on Wednesday.
“Keeping in mind US President Trump’s visit to Agra, 500 cusecs of water has been released from the Ganganahar to improve the environmental condition of the Yamuna. This water will reach the Yamuna in Mathura by February 20 and Agra by February 21 afternoon,” the department’s Superintending Engineer Dharmender Singh Phogat told Press Trust of India.
It quoted the state’s pollution control board as saying that the move may not make Yamuna’s water fit for drinking, but could reduce the foul smell.
The step to spruce up the area around the 17th century Mughal monument, follows news of from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat about measures to mask the slums along Mr Trump’s route in Ahmedabad where he starts the two-day trip on February 24.
Trump, who is set to visit India on a two-day trip between February 23-26 is scheduled to visit Taj Mahal on February 24. He is likely to stay at the city’s Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel. With fresh coats of paint, potholes covered with dry tarand uniformly coloured shop hoardings, all possible steps are being taken by the Agra administration already to give a facelift to the city.
Trump, who is visiting India five months after PM Modi had addressed the Indian diaspora in ‘Howdy Modi!’ event in Houston, is expected to share the stage with Prime Minister Modi at a similar event which will be held in Motera’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, billed as the largest stadium in the world.
The event will see Trump addressing an audience which will mostly comprise Gujarati diaspora and those having families in the US, mostly from the US, at the stadium.
President Trump, in a video put out on Wednesday, was seen telling reporters how Modi told him there might be “5 to 7 million people just from the airport to the new stadium (Motera)”, which would be nearly the population of the whole of Ahmedabad city.A roadshow is likely to be held from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport to Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera. Sources said instructions have been passed on to education departments in Ahmedabad district and city rural to arrange for 25,000 students each while a similar number of attendance has been demanded from the Gujarat University authorities.
In addition to this, nearly 1,000 teachers each have been asked to be a part of the audience from both rural and city government schools.
Almost all district departments are busy working on a “fool proof” management of the event during the US first couple’s visit. Sixteen committees have been created under the core committee headed by the Collector.
Speaking to reporters at the Oval office a day after the White House announced dates of his visit, Trump said, “He (Modi) said we will have millions and millions of people. My only problem is that last night we probably had 40,000 or 50,000 people… I’m not going to feel so good… There will be five to seven million just from the airport to the new stadium. And you know is the largest stadium in the world. He’s (Modi) building it now…”
Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2020