The Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department has released 500 cusecs of water into the Yamuna river in Agra in order to improve its “environmental condition” ahead of a possible visit by United States President Donald Trump to the city, PTI reported on Wednesday. Trump is scheduled to visit Ahmedabad and New Delhi on February 24 and 25.
“Keeping in mind US President Trump’s visit to Agra, 500 cusecs of water has been released from the Ganganahar to improve the environmental condition of the Yamuna,” said state Irrigation Department’s Superintending Engineer Dharmender Singh Phogat. “This water will reach the Yamuna in Mathura by February 20 and Agra by February 21 afternoon.”
State Pollution Control Board Assistant Engineer Arvind Kumar said releasing the water would reduce the foul smell that emanates from the river. “This will also improve the oxygen level in the Yamuna in Mathura and in Agra,” he added.
India hopes to sign a trade deal with the United States during Trump’s visit. However, the US president said on Wednesday he might postpone the trade agreement till the US presidential elections. “We’re not treated very well by India, but I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot,” he added.
Last week, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation had started building a wall to hide a slum in the city ahead of Trump’s visit. The civic body is erecting the wall along the road connecting the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport to Indira Bridge. Modi and Trump are likely to hold a roadshow from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport to Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera.
Congress lashes out at BJP
Meanwhile, the Congress on Tuesday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Gujarat, accusing it of trying to “hide poverty” by constructing the wall, PTI reported. The party mocked the “Gujarat model of development”, pointing to the construction of the wall.
“We live in times where: GDP [Gross Domestic Product] is measured in tons, Citizen rights in volts, Nationalism in decibels, Poverty in height and length of the wall,” Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted. “This is BJP’s ‘New India’!”