Agra’s tourism industry protests over airport issue

Agra, Jan 10 (IANS) Stakeholders in the Agra’s tourism sector on Sunday criticised the Uttar Pradesh government over the issue of construction of an international airport here.

The Samajwadi Party government’s reported move to upgrade the airport at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ancestral village Sefai, around 100 km from Agra, by sidelining Agra’s claim was “illogical”, Rajiv Tiwari, associated with tourism industry here, said.

“The airport demand has become a political issue. Politicians want to satisfy their vote banks, ignoring the just claims of Agra that has two world heritage monuments and half a dozen historical structures that attract millions of tourists from around the world all year round,” said Rakesh Chauhan, president of Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association.

“Only around 55 acres of land needs to be acquired in Dhanauli village for a new terminal building at Kheria that the Airports Authority of India wants to construct,” said hotelier Surendra Sharma.

“Those planning to visit Taj Mahal should normally land directly at the Kheria airport here, but lobbies of travel agents and hoteliers are scuttling the plans for an international airport at Agra,” said tourist guide Ved Gautam.

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