WILL CO­OP­ER­ATE WITH CEN­TRE, PRESS FOR STA­DIUM, AIR­PORT: CM

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent lko­re­porters­desk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Hours after wel­com­ing PM Naren­dra Modi in Varanasi on Fri­day, CM Akhilesh Yadav on his Agra visit said that his gov­ern­ment was ready to co­op­er­ate with the cen­tre on any schemes pro­posed for UP’s de­vel­op­ment. “The pre­vi­ous state regime was not pre­pared to give land to the Cen­tre for AIIMS, but the Sa­ma­jwadi Party gov­ern­ment granted land for var­i­ous schemes, in­clud­ing a Sainik School, AIIMS and a driv­ing school,” said Akhilesh. He also sup­ported the de­mand for an in­ter­na­tional sports sta­dium in Agra and promised to press for an in­ter­na­tional air­port in the re­gion as well.

AGRA: Hours after wel­com­ing Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in Varanasi on Fri­day, chief min­is­ter Akhilesh Yadav on his Agra visit said that his gov­ern­ment was ready to co­op­er­ate with the cen­tre on any schemes pro­posed for UP’s de­vel­op­ment.

“The pre­vi­ous state regime was not pre­pared to give land to the Cen­tre for AIIMS, but the Sa­ma­jwadi Party gov­ern­ment granted land for var­i­ous schemes, in­clud­ing a Sainik School, AIIMS and a driv­ing school,” said Akhilesh. He also sup­ported the de­mand for an in­ter­na­tional sports sta­dium in Agra and promised to press for an in­ter­na­tional air­port in the re­gion as well.

The CM ar­rived in the city in the af­ter­noon to in­au­gu­rate the 8th edi­tion of ‘Meet at Agra’, a footwear trade ex­hi­bi­tion or­gan­ised by the Agra Footwear Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Ex­porters’ Cham­ber (AFMEC). His ar­rival was de­layed, as he had to go to Varanasi to greet the PM, who is on his first visit to his con­stituency since the Lok Sabha elec­tion.

In his ad­dress, Akhilesh ac­knowl­edged footwear and tourism as the two main in­dus­tries of Agra. “The footwear trade has thrived in Agra since the Mughal pe­riod and con­tin­ues to gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment and support the econ­omy,” he said and out­lined plans to pro­mote tourism and footwear ex­port here. He also promised footwear ex­porters that a high-level com­mit­tee would be con­sti­tuted to re­solve the is­sues faced by the footwear in­dus­try and ex­porters all over the state.

Claim­ing that in his two-anda-half-year ten­ure, the state gov­ern­ment had al­ready un­der­taken de­vel­op­ment work with speed, he said that the up­com­ing “Delhi- to-Luck now stretch would be big­gest the big­gest ex­press­way of the na­tion”. Later, he said that ef­forts were on to have the foun­da­tion lay­ing cer­e­mony for the Agra-Lucknow ex­press­way on the birth­day of SP chief Mu­layam Singh (Novem­ber 21).

“If you dou­ble the speed, you can triple the econ­omy,” Akhilesh told the gath­er­ing. AFMEC pres­i­dent Pooran Dawar wel­comed the CM and high­lighted that Agra ac­counted for 28% of In­dia’s footwear ex­port. Leather Coun­cil chair­man RK Jalan out­lined the is­sues be­ing faced by the traders and asked the CM to support a ‘non-pol­lut­ing’ in­dus­try that had the po­ten­tial of gen­er­at­ing much em­ploy­ment.

Later talk­ing to news­men at Taj Khema, the CM re­it­er­ated that the state gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to pro­mo­tion of tourism.

“The up­com­ing in­ner ring road would ease traf­fic woes of vis­i­tors. Be­sides, steps are be­ing taken to im­prove wa­ter sup­ply of Agra,’ he said and ex­pressed con­fi­dence that attractions like Theme Park, Batesh­war, Lion Sa­fari, Bear Res­cue Cen­tre and the Ele­phant Res­cue Cen­tre would in­spire tourists to stay for more than a day in Agra.

He shared con­cerns for de­lay in re­sults at Univer­sity of Agra and the re­cent ex­am­i­na­tion scam and said the gov­ern­ment was ready for any probe if a re­quest was made.

Akhilesh said his gov­ern­ment was to­tally com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ment of the state and would co­op­er­ate with the Cen­tre an all schemes. Re­ply­ing to a ques­tion on the de­mand for an in­ter­na­tional air­port, the chief min­is­ter said there was a pro­posal to build one in Firoz­abad near Agra. “We have writ­ten to those con­cerned and would write again to have the in­ter­na­tional air­port here,” he said.

HT PHOTO

Chief min­is­ter Akhilesh Yadav in­au­gu­rat­ing the 8th edi­tion of footwear trade ex­hi­bi­tion ‘Meet at Agra’ on Thurs­day.

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