STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Yogi Adityanath visits Taj Mahal, vows to conserve Agra's 'rich history'

Adityanath's visit to the Taj city comes after BJP MLA Sangeet Som had stirred controversy last week when he called the 17th-century marble wonder a blot on Indian culture.

Published: 26th October 2017 09:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th October 2017 04:59 PM   |  A+A-

UP chief Minister Yogi Adityanath weilds a broom as he takes part in a cleanliness drive at the western gate of the Taj Mahal in Agra on Thursday. Dy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma and Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna are also seen. (PTI)

By IANS

AGRA: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday wielded a broom to clean an area outside the Taj Mahal and then visited the imposing monument which some of his party colleagues had dubbed a "blot" on Indian culture.

The Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for a World Bank-aided pro-poor tourism development project at the Taj Mahal, under which the Shah Jahan park would be rejuvenated and a walking track is to be developed between Agra Fort and Taj Mahal.

Earlier, he announced construction of a rubber check dam over the Yamuna and laid foundation stones of projects worth Rs 22 crore at Kachpura area. 

Adityanath said his government was committed to conserve the rich cultural and historical identity of Agra.

He also announced a special skill development programme so that youths benefit from the tourism industry. 

According to him, under the Gangajal project, the flow of drains into the Yamuna river would be checked and a sewage treatment plant (STP) would be built.

When Adityanath reached the Taj in the morning, BJP activists shouted slogans hailing him and also 'Jai Shri Ram'.

Like any other tourist but accompanied by security personnel, he walked to the main mausoleum to look at the tombs of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Jehan, in whose memory the 17th century marble monument was built. 

Some tourists, including a foreigner, sought a selfie with the Chief Minister, who readily obliged.

After his arrival, Adityanath first launched a cleanliness drive on the western gate of the Taj, India's most popular tourist draw.

He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi and cabinet Minister SP Singh Baghel. 

In the Taj, Adityanath went to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) office and saw a slide show about the historical and cultural details of the monuments in Agra and the steps taken to conserve them.

He also went to the Yamuna side of the monument and spoke to officials about the river, its cleanliness and the proposed beautification of the area.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's visit comes in the backdrop of statements by BJP leaders that the Taj, one of the wonders of the world, was a blot on Indian culture and history. 

The statements triggered a backlash from many quarters, forcing the Bharatiya Janata Party to distance itself from the comments. 

Later, the Chief Minister announced he would visit the Taj and that the monument had been built by the sweat and blood of Indian labourers.

Journalists who went to cover Adityanath's visit had to go through a lot of trouble as their cars and OB vans were stopped far from the venue of engagements.

Some journalists rang up senior government officials to protest but to no avail. The chaos, journalists said, prevailed for more than an hour.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp