Yogi pledges to turn Agra into global tourist hub

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Agra, Oct 27: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today said his government was committed towards developing Agra as a tourist hub and several developmental projects worth over Rs 350 crore have been launched for it. During his second visit to Agra as the chief minister, Adityanath said the government was making a policy for 'tourism police' for the safety and security of tourists from across India and abroad. He said a dedicated pathway connecting the Agra Fort to the Taj Mahal would be constructed for the convenience of tourists and the Shahjahan Park would be revitalised. "There is a possibility for a metro train network in Agra. We are working on that," the chief minister said. "For better connectivity, there is an Air Force station where a civil terminal will be made. We can also develop an international airport here. We want better regional air connectivity and are looking forward to connect Agra with other cities in India. People of Agra will benefit from it as employment opportunities will increase," he said. Adityanath also inspected the Mughal Museum being built here for Rs 141 crore and gave instructions for cleaning the Yamuna river during his visit. "With the assistance of the World Bank, we have launched several developmental projects worth Rs 370 crore to promote tourism in Agra. Many of them were inaugurated today. Foundation stones of other projects have also been laid," Adityanath said. To address the shortage of drinking water in Agra, the chief minister said a rubber check dam would be built near the Taj Mahal that would not only solve the scarcity of drinking water supply but also be good for the monument's conservation. He also met with some visually-impaired children. Adityanath said Agra was a unique city where five world heritage sites--Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandra and Itimad Daula tomb--were situated. These five places had tremendous tourism opportunities, he said. "Everyday, nearly 40,000 to 50,000 tourists, including foreigners, visit Agra. If we develop the infrastructure and facilities, this number can reach 2.5 to 3 lakh," he said. "Our government is committed towards developing Agra as an international tourist hub. These developments not only increase tourism but also create employment opportunities for youths," he said. Adityanath's first visit to Agra as the state chief minister came in May. He did not visit the Taj Mahal then.