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Ahemdabad: Govt is building wall to conceal slums along Modi-Trump roadshow route

The US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take on February 24 for their roadshow and they both will be preferring this route

New Delhi: Before the  Donald Trump visit to India, the Gujarat government has begun with its preparation for the historic moment as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US president will be meeting in the city of Ahmedabad. The Gujarat government is building a wall along the road connecting the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport to Indira Bridge, ostensibly to mask the slum area on the likely route that US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would take for the roadshow when they visit on February 24

According to the sources, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has decided to conceal slum communities and any sights of poverty that the US President may deem unseemly by building a half-a-kilometer long wall on the stretch that leads to Gandhinagar from Ahmedabad airport.

The wall will be made with a height of six or seven feet, and come up close to the side of the road connecting the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport to Indira Bridge.

The US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take on February 24 for their roadshow and they both will be preferring this route. This will be a massive event at the newly built Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium on the lines of ‘Howdy, Modi’, which was held in Houston 2019.

The close sources said the wall is being built, to hide the more than 500 kutcha houses at the Dev Saran or Saraniyavaas slum area. These slums have an estimated population of 2,500.

After the slum is concealed, plantation of date palms will be done along the stretch as part of the beautification drive. Repairing roads and were not resurfaced for years will also be re-laid for the visit. Around, 16 roads will be resurfaced for Trump’s visit and decorative lighting may also be inducted along the route the US President takes.

Approximately Rs 50 crore is expected to be the overall cost of the beautification, said the Ahmedabad Mirror.

In 2017 before the visit of Trump’s daughter Ivanka to Hyderabad, a similar exercise was taken up as police rounded up beggars from roads and detained them to hide the poverty on display.

During Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe visited Gujarat for two days in 2017, and when China’s President Xi Jinping visited in 2014 the similar kind of beautification drives were done.

Currently, the government is putting all its efforts to make Trump’s visit a huge success. As per the video released on Wednesday, the US President was seen telling reporters how Modi had said there might be “5 to 7 million people just from the airport to the new stadium (Motera)”, which would be nearly the population of the whole of Ahmedabad.

Speaking to media at the Oval Office a day after the White House announced dates of Donald Trump visit to India, “Modi said we will have millions and millions of people. My only problem is that last night we probably had 40,000 or 50,000 people… I’m not going to feel so good. There will be five to seven million just from the airport to the new stadium. And you know is the largest stadium in the world. Modi building it now”.

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