45 slum homes get eviction notice ahead of Trump’s Gujarat visit
Forty five families living in a slum have received eviction notices from the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation on February 18. The slum is located close to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, which will be visited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Donald Trump during a February 24 roadshow.
The municipal body has claimed the families, who have reportedly been residing at the plot for the past 20 years, are being evicted for illegally encroaching upon the land parcel. However, the 200-odd residents who are primarily construction workers, have alleged connection between the decree and the ‘Namaste Trump’ event.
There is a total of around 65 families residing in the slum, where 45 families were asked to move out at the earliest by the Estate and Town Development Department of the AMC. The eviction notice mentioned that the land was “encroached” upon by the slum dwellers and belonged to the civic body.
Talking about the move that comes days after the civic body began erecting a wall to hide the slum, AMC official Kishore Varna, who signed the notices, said: “These slum-dwellers were served notices because they had encroached upon a land under one of the town planning schemes; it had nothing to do with Trump’s visit.”
However, construction worker Teja Meda, who has been residing in the slum for 22 years, has claimed that AMC workers asked them to move out stating the US president’s visit to Motera Stadium as the reason. He said: “We are all construction workers registered with ‘Majur Adhikar Manch’ and earn an of Rs 300 daily.”
According to an Indian Express report, the authorities asked them to skip work on Feb 17 so that the notices can be served to them. Interestingly though, as per the notice, the slum dwellers have seven days to evict the premises, the papers were dated February 11, as per which, February 18 is the deadline. This effectively means the workers have been granted a day’s window to vacate their homes.
Pankaj Damor, a slum dweller who drives AMC vehicles, said the officials had asked them to “go wherever they want to.”