02/21/2020, 11.21
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Ahmedabad’S ‘Trump wall' to hide slum and poor

The US President's state visit will also touch Agra, where the marshy area surrounding the Taj Mahal has been cleared. About $ 4.2 million used to clean up the area around the new cricket stadium, which Trump will inaugurate. Economic agreements are not expected to be signed.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Indian cities are busy preparing for the arrival of US President Donald Trump in a few days’ time.

In Ahmedabad in Gujarat, the first stage of the state visit that begins on February 24, a wall was built to hide what is beyond: a slum full of poor people.

In Agra, the "capital of love" with its monument dedicated to eternal love, city officials are cleaning up the Yamuna river and the marshes surrounding the Taj Mahal. The "beautification" operation will cost Gujarat  1.5% of its annual GDP.

Trump and his wife Melania are expected at Ahmedabad airport, where they will be greeted by hundreds of artists who will perform traditional dances and songs. From here the couple will go to the ashram shrine dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, hero of the non-violent struggle for independence from British colonial rule. He will later reach Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, a new cricket stadium, to attend the inauguration ceremony. The arena, with its 110 thousand seats, is the largest cricket stadium in the world.

The city, the electoral base of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be protected by 12 thousand agents. The wall, about 500 meters long, is located along the path that leads from the memorial to the stadium. Initially, the project envisaged that the wall would be over two meters high, but then it was reduced to about one and a half meters for the attention it aroused. The overall construction and cleaning of the city cost nearly $ 12 million, of which $ 4.2 million just to clear the area around the stadium.

Vijay Nehra, municipal commissioner, explained on Twitter that the decision to raise the wall dates back to about two months ago and was decreed "to avoid invasions on the sidewalk and on the road". Instead, residents accuse the local government of wanting to "hide the poor" during Trump's visit.

Keshi Saraniya, a slum dweller, says: “Since they spent so much money on the wall, why didn't they also use it to improve the slum and provide us with better facilities? Why do they want to hide us who are poor? ".

The trip aims to heal the economic relations between the "largest democracy in the world", the classic definition of India, and the most powerful western democracy, after the trade war which provoked conflicts and disagreements among the leaderships. However, the U.S.-India Business Council, a group of experts, believes it is "very unlikely" that the two countries will reach an economic agreement that will satisfy the demand for goods and services for a population of 1.3 billion.

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