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Air link sought for Agra


Agra : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave a patient hearing when a delegation from Agra pressed him to provide air connectivity to the Taj Mahal city.

The prime minister, delegation members told IANS Wednesday, promised to do whatever was practical “very soon”.

Led by MP Ram Shankar Katheria, the delegation included Agra’s prominent industrialists and professionals such as K.C. Jain, Prahlad Agarwal, Mukesh Agarwal, Satish Gupta, Yogesh Gupta, Sandeep Arora, R.C. Mishra, Nawal Sharma, Pooran Dawar, Rakesh Garg and Y.K. Gupta.

The delegation focused on three main demands: a barrage on the Yamuna, air connectivity and a new tourism promotion authority for Agra.

Jain told IANS: “Manmohan Singh gave a patient hearing and assured all help. We have returned with a lot of positivity and are hoping things will seriously start moving in the right direction very soon.”

The delegation told the prime minister that a barrage on the Yamuna was their top priority as water in the river was vital for the safety of the Taj Mahal, the 17th century marvel that is India’s biggest tourist draw.

Air connectivity was necessary to promote tourism. Agra last year got close to eight million visitors. This could rise substantially if Agra was linked by air, particularly to New Delhi.