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Akhilesh Yadav off to Netherlands as UP faces power crisis

By Ians English

Lucknow, Sep 1: Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav left for the Netherlands on Monday while Uttar Pradesh reels under a power crisis and drought.

Accompanied by ministers and senior bureaucrats, including Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan, Yadav will meet industry captains and government officials in the Netherlands.

The visit has been criticised by opposition parties, as it comes in the wake of a power crisis and drought in two-thirds of the state.

"Such trips are necessary, but its timing and the fact that both the CM and the chief secretary are away in such crisis situation speaks volumes of the casual approach of the government," said Vijay Bahadur Pathak, state spokesman of the BJP.

Leader of Opposition Swamy Prasad Maurya said, "The tour will make no difference" and accused the state government of being "indifferent to the plight of the common man."

Soon after arriving in Amsterdam, Yadav is slated to visit the world's biggest flower auction centre Flora Holland at Aalsmeer to gather knowledge about techniques to grow flowers, their upkeep and marketing.

Uttar Pradesh is looking to expand its floral growth and maximize its exports.

The same day, Yadav will hold a meeting with officers of the Netherlands Agro Food and Technology Centre.

This is relevant because major part of the harvest is wasted in the state due to lack of post-harvesting technology and collection.

The chief minister is also scheduled to meet The Hague Mayor Jozias Van Aartsen.

The UP contingent is also likely to take tips on developing cycling as an option for commuters. More than 57 percent people of the Netherlands use bicycles.

The delegation will try to understand ways to have cycling tracks in places like Agra, Lucknow, Noida and Greater Noida in the state, an official accompanying the chief minister told IANS.

Yadav will also visit the International Court of Justice at The Hague and meet trade groups and some NRIs.


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