Gujarat Civic Body Builds Wall To Hide Slum Ahead Of US President Donald Trump's Visit
With US President Donald Trump's maiden visit to India just weeks away, preparations are on in full swing in Ahmedabad. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is building a wall along the road connecting the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport to Indira Bridge, purportedly to hide the slums in the area from the President's view.
Trump will be taking part in a grand roadshow along a 10 km stretch in Ahmedabad with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24. It is in anticipation of the roadshow that the civic body is building a six to seven feet high and over half a kilometre long wall.
"The 6-7 feet high wall is being erected to cover the slum area on an estimated 600-metre stretch. This will be followed by plantation drive along the stretch," a senior AMC official was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.
According to media, over 500 kutcha houses with a population of 2,500 is part of the Saraniyavaas slum area.
The Trump administration on Tuesday, February 11, confirmed that the US President will be visiting Ahmedabad and New Delhi on his two-day visit to India.
The route will be decorated with 1.5 lakh flower pots costing around Rs 2 crore. At a cost of Rs 1 crore, decorative lighting may also be installed along the route.
This is not the first time that the government has splurged on welcoming foreign delegates to the country. In 2017, a similar beautification process -- complete with shimmering fluorescent lights, hoardings, and banners along the streets -- was carried out to welcome Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe.
The Logical Indian Take
It is unfortunate that the government tries to hide the prevailing poverty in India every time a foreign delegate visits the country. The government's actions are a clear indication of their hesitance to put out India's reality in front of the world.
India is a developing country where poverty is still rampant, and no amount of world's 'tallest statues' or 'largest cricket stadiums' can hide the reality.
Rather than trying to sweep the sorry state of the country under the carpet and paint a pretty picture, the government should work towards improving the condition of the nation.
If all the money spent in showcasing an 'all is well' scenario was used towards development, India would have been in a much better position right now - a position that did not require the government to go on a wall-building spree.