Gandhinagar cleanup drive for Trump leaves many homeless

Gandhinagar: Amid the city beautification drive ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit, social and labour activists are upset with abrupt demolition of huts around the Motera Cricket Stadium, here.

“Forty-five families have been issued notices for eviction in the past 15 days. The labourers, who earn Rs 300-400 a day and are living in the area for around two decades, have been asked to vacate the area without allowing any alternative. It’s an attempt to just hide the poverty in and around stadium,” said Meena Jadav, general secretary of the Majoor Adhikar Manch.

“Around 24 huts were demolished without prior intimation of any kind on January 23. The dwellers were out to earn their daily wages. When they returned, they found all their belongings strewn and huts demolished,” said Jadav who works for welfare of daily wage labourers.

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It happened despite our approaching the Deputy Municipal Commissionor, Usmanpura, and the Assistant Municipal Commissionor, Sabarmati Zonal office, around January 15-16. “They assured that due process will be followed for removal of shanties,” Jadav said.

Jadav had approached the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation officials after some people on January 14 asked the hut dwellers to evict. After that on January 17 around 45 hut dwellers were served eviction notices dated January 11, and given a week from the issuing date to evict, Jadav said.

“The administration seems hell bent upon removing the poor people from in and around the stadium for Trump’s visit,” said Jadav.

Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra didn’t respond to attempts to contact him.

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