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 kilometres 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.
Five-tier security system, 800 commandos to be deployed
A five-tier security system will be in place, with the 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 rooftop 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.
Trump's India visit
Earlier, First Lady of the US, Melania Trump, took to Twitter to state that she and US President Donald Trump were really excited to visit India. The visit of US President and First Lady is scheduled from February 24-25. PM Modi will host President Donald Trump and Melania Trump in Ahmedabad and New Delhi.
Taking to his official Twitter handle, PM Narendra Modi said that India will extend a warm and memorable welcome to the 'esteemed guests'.
In another tweet, the PM said, "India and USA share a common commitment to democracy and pluralism. Our nations are cooperating extensively on a wide range of issues. Robust friendship between our nations augurs well not only for our citizens but also for the entire world."
The meeting of the two leaders is significant as the two countries could possibly sign a trade deal. On February 24, an event on the lines of 'Howdy Modi' will be organised in Gujarat. The mega event will be addressed by Donald Trump and Melania Trump. The event 'Kemcho Trump' is likely to be similar to the 'Howdy Modi' event that was held in Texas last year.
The United States is India's second-largest trade partner after China, and bilateral goods and services trade climbed to a record of $142.6 billion in the year 2018. The US had a $23.2 billion goods trade deficit with India in 2019, its 9th largest trading partner in goods.