Security tightened ahead of royal couple's Taj Mahal visit

Agra: Ahead of the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 16, police have tightened security arrangements in the tourist complex area along Fatehabad Road leading to the Taj Mahal. The royal couple is scheduled to visit Agra on Saturday. Officials said they will spend nearly two hours at the Taj Mahal. Hoteliers said local intelligence officials had directed them not to rent out rooms to visitors from Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and other Islamic State (IS)-affected countries. The whole area from Kheria airport to the Taj Mahal is being spruced up and sanitised for the high profile visit. ASI superintending archaeologist Bhuvan Vikram said that the scaffolding around the minarets will not be dismantled as was being suggested, so that the royal visitors get a "fair and unobstructed glimpse" of the 17th century monument of love. Maintenance work alongwith mud-pack therapy to beautify the monument will continue. A 70-year-old local photographer Surendra Sharma has sought the district administration's permission to present the royal couple an album of Queen Elizabeth's visit to the Taj Mahal way back in 1961.