Agra Development Authority (ADA) has started the exercise to get the city ready for tourists ahead of Commonwealth Games 2010 scheduled for October.
Agra is considered a major tourism destination and the state government is expecting a chunk of foreign tourists there during the Games. And accordingly, a detailed plan has been drawn up for the beautification of the city and improvement of its infrastructure.
As per plans, the arterial Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road will be re-carpeted, trees will be planted on road sides and traffic posts of red sandstone will be built.
Street lights would be installed on the highways connecting Agra with New Delhi, Gwalior, Aligarh and Jaipur.
“The Delhi-Agra National Highway (NH2) was developed 25 years ago, but so far, no streetlight has been installed on it,” said Tanvir Zafar Ali, vice-chairman, ADA. “We are going erect advanced and attractive street lights on the 12-km stretch of the highway that runs through Agra.” Similar lights will be erected on other highways connecting the city with Jaipur, Gwalior and Aligarh.
The ADA has also sought a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to develop a welcome gate on the Agra-Delhi Highway. This will be built of red sandstone and will stand 17 kms from the city center. A similar gate will be erected at the Agra Cantonment railway station — the main railway station which lies southwest of the Taj and Agra Fort.
The welcome gates will have display boards to inform tourists about the major destinations — Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandra and Itimadud. Signages displaying similar information will be placed on all important routes.
The approach roads to these tourist spots will be widened and strengthened with help of municipal corporation.
“Initially we are taking up a 1.75-km stretch of the main approach road to Fatehpur Sikri. After dense carpeting, plantation will be done, drains will be constructed and railings will be erected on the roadside,” said the vice-chairman.