On ‘Namaste Trump’ Route, Disparity Hidden, Development on Display
The AMC is developing areas that it had earlier paid no heed to.
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati
Ahead of Donald Trump’s maiden visit as US President to India on 24 and 25 February, several preparations are underway in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad and New Delhi. The US President with PM Narendra Modi will attend the ‘Namaste Trump’ event in Ahmedabad on 24 February.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has set aside a budget of over Rs 100 crore for the preparations. The route to the venue of the event – Motera Cricket Stadium – is around 10 km from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport, and has witnessed a massive beautification drive ever since the announcement of Mr Trump’s visit was made.
‘Namaste Trump’ Route: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport > Ahmedabad Cantonment > Hansol > Bhat > Motera Cricket Stadium
Interestingly, the AMC is developing areas that it had earlier paid no heed to despite repeated requests by Ahmedabad’s residents, who have now suddenly been graced with footpaths and new roads!
What Does the ‘Namaste Trump’ Route Look Like?
Right outside the Ahmedabad airport and the circle adjacent to it, several shops have been sealed by the AMC without any notice.
A huge stretch on the left side of the road has been covered by a green net so that the slum beyond the wall and its residents are not visible to President Trump. I had reported this for The Quint on 15 February. Soon after, residents of the slum were served eviction notices and were shifted by the AMC to an unknown area.
So while new footpaths are being laid and walls are being painted to beautify Ahmedabad, poverty and disparity is being actively concealed on the entire stretch of the Trump-Modi roadshow.
In Bhat, which is around 2 kms away from the Motera Stadium, work is underway at double the speed. A footpath is under construction on the entire stretch of the road, which too has been laid anew. This is the same road that had several potholes a few days ago. Even drainage lines are being laid again. While metro work is at a halt for security reasons, other renovation is ongoing. Fumigation is also underway near the Motera Stadium and airport area to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Wherever Mr Trump will go, development work is ongoing at double the speed.
But a question to be asked is what will happen after he goes back? What about the locals here and their issues of road, water, electricity?
Residents have been demanding the AMC give them a proper road in Motera but despite having put forth this demand a few years ago, the AMC refused to listen. For now, Trump’s visit is a happy occasion because at least the locals are now getting footpaths and roads!
(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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