Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), which is busy in preparation for the US President Donald Trump’s visit, has reportedly decided to reduce its height to four feet, a report in The Indian Express cited.
According to the earlier report, the wall was marked to be 7 feet high.
This half a Kilometre wall is reportedly being built to conceal the Saraniyavas or Dev Saran slum in Ahmedabad. The slum is located between Sadar Vallahbhai Patel International Airport and Indira bridge, route which will be taken by Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump during their visiting on February 24.
A fence will run parallel to the wall, the columns of which stand higher than the wall as per the earlier design, according to The Indian Express.
After the wall is complete, the AMC plans to plant trees including bamboo and evergreen trees so that the slum in completely hidden.
When Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Mayor Bijal Patel was approached and asked why the wall is constructing, she tried to avoid the question, according to GoNews.
The opposition is critising the construction alleging that the wall is under construction so that the US President cannot see the slums.
They also said that if Gujarat government does not want Donald Trump to see the slums, it should make them ‘pakka’.
Similar incidents of ‘Garibi Chupao’ have taken place in Gujarat earlier too:
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit in 2017:
In September 2017, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe visited Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in Gujarat. The three days visit of Japan’s Prime Minister also witnessed the stone laying ceremony of ₹1 lakh crore Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project.
The government put a huge green cloth to hide slums in addition with the installation of fluorescent streetlights, hoardings and banners welcoming Shinzo Abe, a report in The Print cited.
Gujarat Global summit, 2017:
In January 2017 Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Gujarat Global summit in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Several Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers participated in the summit.
The summit which intended to attract investments saw Modi government hiding the slums through huge green cloth.
3000 people were believed to have been living in 556 kaccha houses.
Backing up the “beautification” drill one of the government official said, “This is a face lift exercise and there is nothing wrong in hiding slums from the dignitaries’ visibility”
As per the reports by the Ministry of Urban Development, there are 19, 749 non-notified slums across the country, a report in The Print stated. Maharashtra leading the list with 5,769 slums in the state. Whilst West Bengal has 2,684 slums and Gujarat at third position with 2,058 slums.
In and around the state, 3.84 Lakh families are living in the slums of Gujarat, according to The Print. Where they are deprived of proper electricity, fresh water and basic sanitation facility.