Motera neighbourhood gets overdue face-lift ahead of Trump’s visit

Updated on Feb 21, 2020 07:39 PM IST

Besides Motera, Bhat and Koteshwar too have benefited from the effort which comes ahead of the US President’s first visit to India. He will address a public event, Namaste Trump, at Motera on February 24.

Residents living in and around Motera stadium are probably thanking US President Donald Trump for the much-needed face-lift the civic infrastructure in their neighbourhoods have received(PTI)
Residents living in and around Motera stadium are probably thanking US President Donald Trump for the much-needed face-lift the civic infrastructure in their neighbourhoods have received(PTI)
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad | By

Residents living in and around Motera stadium are probably thanking US President Donald Trump for the much-needed face-lift the civic infrastructure in their neighbourhoods have received. Several state government agencies, including Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), have been involved in the face-lift, which has been ongoing for the past few weeks.

Besides Motera, Bhat and Koteshwar too have benefited from the effort which comes ahead of the US President’s first visit to India. He will address a public event, Namaste Trump, at Motera on February 24.

Sunil Das, a resident of Sampad Residency on Koteshwar Road near the stadium, said that Trump’s visit augurs well for residents of his neighbourhood. AMC and AUDA have been apathetic to their pleas to launch a beautification drive in the area for all these years, he claimed.

“Leave alone beautification, we fought for basic amenities such as streetlights and proper roads for several years. Our pleas fell on deaf ears as the authorities cited a funds crunch for the sorry state of affairs. Then, we took it upon ourselves to plant neem saplings and urged the AMC to provide security guards, but that too was rebuffed. Now, overnight the authorities have planted palm trees and repaired broken roads. How can the same authorities spend 80 crore in prepping for a visiting head of state and overlook local residents’ needs?” asked Das, an information technology (IT) professional with a financial services firm.

Lalit Shah, a shopkeeper on Koteshwar Road, hoped the US president would also visit other parts of the city that could do with a “much-needed upgrade in civic amenities”. A stretch of the Koteshwar-Bhat Road is one of 16 roads being worked on ahead of the visit. According to the Gujarat government, around 45 crore is being spent on road and repair work and another 6-8 crore on the beautification drive.

The controversy over the wall constructed to hide slums from the visiting dignitary’s view isn’t dying down, though.

The AMC has erected a 600-metre long, four-feet high wall to keep the Sarania Vaas slums located about seven kilometres from Bhat-Motera road out of Trump’s sight.

AMC commissioner, Vijay Nehra, said the decision to construct the boundary wall around the Sarania Vaas slum and Trump’s visit are not connected.

Elsewhere, barricades covered with cloth have been erected.

Brothers-in-law, Manga bhai and Dhanshuk bhai Devipujak, who live in shanties on the Bhat-Motera road, located close to the stadium, are a worried lot.

“We have been told by the authorities that a green cloth will be put up to block our shanties’ view (from Trump). But, who knows? We could still be evicted,” said Manga bhai.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Swapnil Rawal is Principal Correspondent with the Hindustan Times. He covers urban development and infrastructure. He had long stints with leading national dailies and has experience of over a decade in journalism.

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