India builds wall to hide slum from Trump visit: report
Feb. 18, 2020
Indian authorities are reportedly constructing a half-kilometer-long wall in the state of Gujarat to hide low-income housing and slums from visiting U.S. dignitaries ahead of President Trump 's visit.
The Associated Press reported that the wall, which is planned to be 4-feet high, was originally planned to be higher before public outrage resulted in officials changing the designs.
The wall will be constructed in the city of Ahmedabad, where Trump will visit next week as part of a two-day visit to the country. In the city, Trump is expected to attend a "Namaste Trump" event hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ahmedabad's mayor Bijal Patel told the AP that the project was part of a "beautification" initiative but contested that the purpose was to hide the slums from visitors.
“Apart from security reasons, the wall is also part of a beautification and cleanliness drive,” he said.
Some families living in the area told the AP that they were evicted from their homes to facilitate the wall's construction.
“We have been living here for the last 20 years and now we are suddenly being told to vacate because some important leader is visiting this city for a day,” resident Sanjay Patani told the AP. “This is injustice.”
“Since they are spending so much money on this wall, why not use that to improve our slum and provide better facilities for us,” added another resident. “Why are they hiding us poor people?”
Next week's visit is Trump's first to the country after he previously attended a "Howdy, Modi" event hosted for Modi in Houston, Texas last year.
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