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Why Obama cancelled his visit to Taj Mahal on January 27?

michelle_barack_obamaNew Delhi:  US President Barack Obama’s visit to Agra to view the monumental Taj Mahal has been cancelled. It is still unclear why the Agra leg of his 3-day visit was called off. Obama was to visit Taj Mahal along with first lady Michelle Obama on January 27.One of the reasons cited for the cancellation is that petrol and diesel vehicles are not permitted within a 500 metres radius of the Taj Mahal. In a bid to protect the Taj Mahal from vehicular pollution, the Supreme Court had passed an order banning the parking and movement of petrol and diesel vehicles within 500 metres of the boundary of the historical site. Special permission is being sought to allow the vehicles to enter the Taj Mahal’s eastern gate. Boarding an electric vehicle to the entry gate wouldn’t have been feasible considering his security line-up. However, at the World Heritage monument’s eastern gate that is reserved for VIP entry preparations were on to welcome America’s first couple along with other dignitaries. The entry is for high-value ticket holders.The second reason that has been reported is that Obama would fly down to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to pay his respects to the late King Abdullah. Hence, the trip has been cut short. Obama would return to the United States on January 27 itself after meeting the bereaved family of late King Abdullah. The Uttar Pradesh government has been been informed about the cancellation of the trip. Top Uttar Pradesh government officials had been reviewing security and other arrangements in Agra. Agra administration had demanded 10 SPs, 12 ASPs, 24 DSPs, 10 company of CPMF, 12 companies of PAC and one company of flood division for the security.

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