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Trump in India: Ahmedabad municipal body builds wall to hide slums from US President's view


Even as work is apace to build US President Donald Trump’s signature campaign promise—a wall on the US-Mexico border—thousands of miles away, in Gujarat, another wall is being readied for him.

Ahead of Trump’s visit to Ahmedabad on February 24, the local municipal corporation is building a temporary wall on the sides of the road linking Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport to Indira Bridge to keep slum areas out of sight of the American President and First Lady Melania Trump.

“The 6-7 feet high wall is being erected to cover the slum at an estimated 600-meter stretch. This will be followed by plantation drive along the stretch so that the US president will not see the dirtiest places of India,” a senior municipal official said.

More than 500 kutcha houses, home to an estimated 2,500 people, are part of the decades-old Dev Saran or Saraniyavaas slum area.

According to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, the wall will be more than half a kilometer long. It is part of a beautification drive around the airport and Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera. The AMC is also planting fully-grown date palms as part of the efforts to beautify the city.

Modi and Trump are expected to take out a roadshow in Ahmedabad on February 24. A similar beautification was carried during the two-day visit of Japan PM Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe during the 12th India-Japan annual summit in 2017.