Agra, Sep 10 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Monday announced more funds for developmental schemes languishing in the Taj city and action on some of the most pressing grievances of the people including against the local power discom.
Though many termed the visit "disappointing" as he did not touch upon several key demands, including for a new international airport to boost tourism, a local doctor, who spent some time with the chief minister, revealed to IANS that he had assured action on many of these issues soon.
Addressing a public rally in Shamshabad and later a press conference at the Circuit House, Akhilesh Yadav agreed to widen the Agra-Shamshabad road, release funds for a new stadium and develop agro-based industries.
He said an inner-city road project to connect the Yamuna Expressway with the tourist complex near the Taj Mahal, would be taken up soon.
Blaming Delhi for the pollution in the Yamuna, Akhilesh Yadav said a barrage on Yamuna here would need clearance by experts and technical consultants.
He said that the Ganga Jal project, a pipeline from a canal of the Ganga being built with Japanese assistance, would solve the water crisis in Agra.
Assuring high priority for tourism projects, the chief minister also said a committee would be instituted to look into complaints as listed in the state auditor's report against private discom Torrent Power Ltd.
Earlier, Akhilesh Yadav went to the Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chisti's shrine in Fatehpur Sikri, and also spent some time watching a stage show at the Kalakriti auditorium.
The chief minister's much-hyped visit had built high level of expectations, but turned out to be an "anti-climax" for people who were expecting major sops including announcement of an international airport, air connectivity, the Yamuna barrage, and resolution of some of the more vexing problems, said local residents and businessmen.
"He came, he saw and he went," said senior tourism industry leader Surendra Sharma.
"He said nothing on corruption, or how he planned to give good governance. A routine visit, nothing that would cheer up Agra," said social activist Shravan Kumar.
However, in private conversation, Akhilesh Yadav promised to look into some of the more urgent issues like water supply, medical services and tourism, said local homeopath R.S. Pareek, who was with the chief minister for more than 90 minutes at the Kalakriti show and later till he left Agra.
Talking to IANS, Pareek said "he (Akhilesh) agreed to urgently look into the demand for starting work on a new terminal building at the existing Kheria airport, without waiting for the new international airport which may take years".
"The chief minister also said he would consider bringing water to Agra from a canal of Ganges straight away, directly to Agra Water Works, without waiting for the pipeline project to be completed."
"The medical services in the city would also engage his attention. Lady Loyal Hospital for women could be upgraded immediately. I told him to study shifting the local SN Medical College outside the city limits. The present medical college in the heart of the city could be sold as prime property to raise funds for the new buildings in a more open space."
The chief minister was also requested to set up a central authority for the whole eco-sensitive Taj Trapezium Zone, on lines of Noida or Yamuna Expressway Authority, to facilitate decision making and implementation, Pareek added.
"I am happy to tell you the chief minister has agreed and promised prompt action on these issues," he said.