Agra disappointed as Obama cancels visit

Hundreds of workers who have been sprucing up this Uttar Pradesh city, cleaning the Taj Mahal, removing encroachments and so on were disappointed Saturday as the news of the cancellation of US President Barack Obama`s visit to the Taj city spread.

Agra: Hundreds of workers who have been sprucing up this Uttar Pradesh city, cleaning the Taj Mahal, removing encroachments and so on were disappointed Saturday as the news of the cancellation of US President Barack Obama`s visit to the Taj city spread.

For the past several days, scores of workers have been working tirelessly while thousands of security personnel stepped up vigil all along the national highway and the Yamuna Expressway preparing for the much anticipated Obama visit.

Obama is coming to India on a three-day state visit Jan 25. He will become the first US president to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade Jan 26. The Agra visit was slated on the last day of his sojourn.

The tourism industry which was upbeat, hoping the visit would help promote tourism in a big way, was also disappointed.

"Many people had cancelled their bookings for hotel rooms during this weekend due to the visit. Its been a loss for everyone. The city was all decked up and we were all anxiously waiting for the visit," said hotelier Surendra Sharma.

As the news spread, workers of the municipal corporation left their tasks unfinished. The security noose relaxed and many heaved a sigh of relief, as people feared restrictions on their movements.

However, not everyone was disappointed with the cancellation.

"The city lived in fear, but now there is relief and we can look forward to celebrating the Republic Day in a grand style," said activist Shravan Kumar Singh.