Ahmedabad: After certain reports claimed that the paan shops in the city had been sealed to prep up for Donald Trump's visit, Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra on Wednesday clarified that no such development had taken place and the US President's impending visit had not affected any services.
"There are thousands of paan shops in Ahmedabad. All of them are open. The reports are not just misleading but also mischievous," Nehra told News18.
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will travel to India on February 24 and 25. On the first day of his India visit, Trump meet be in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat.
A report by The Times of India quoted an AMC official as saying that the customers used to throw cigarette butts and spit paan-masala everywhere, making it difficult to keep the area clean. If the shops were kept open, it would have been difficult to retain cleanliness.
The report stated that the municipal corporation has sealed three paan shops at the airport circle. It added a wall has been erected in the city to keep slums off the sight of the US President.
They claimed that notices had been pasted outside the shops mentioning that if the shop-owners try to remove the seal, legal action will be taken. The initiative, the report said, was taken to make sure that all the roads and walls around the Ahmedabad airport remain spick and span.
There were also reports that claimed at least 45 families living in a slum near the newly-built Motera stadium were also served eviction notices by the municipal corporation.
While officials denied any connection with the proposed high-profile visit and issuance of notices, residents of the slum have questioned the timing of the move, which came days after the AMC began building a wall allegedly to cover a slum on a route that the US President is likely to take while visiting the city.
Reacting to the development, Nehra further clarified that notices issued were not "eviction notices" but were meant to provide an opportunity to the slum-dwellers to present "documents related to ownership".
"There are no plans to evict any slum-dwellers near the event venue or the route which the dignitaries will take," a report in Indian Express quoted him as saying. He claimed the slum-dwellers will be provided with alternative homes in due course of time.
Donald Trump would be visiting the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad and take part in a roadshow with PM Modi. Both the leaders are also expected to inaugurate a new cricket stadium in Motera and address a gathering there.
This visit is a very special one and it will go a long way in further cementing India-USA friendship.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 12, 2020
Trump has said that he would sign a trade deal during his India visit if “it was the right one”. The president said that millions will welcome him in India. "He (Modi) is a great gentleman and I look forward to going to India," Trump added.