India is building Trump’s wall.
Not that wall — but a wall specifically being erected as part of his first ever presidential visit to India set for February 24 to 25, where he and the First Lady will meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “strengthen the United States-India strategic partnership,” according to a White House statement.
Trump will see “his wall” when he visits Ahmedabad in western India, the largest city in the state of Gujarat (Modi’s home state), where he’ll join Modi in inaugurating the prime minister’s dream project — the massive new Motera Stadium — dubbed world’s largest cricket stadium.
Millions are expected to be lining the roads of the city during the visit, but what the president won’t see are the nearby slums.
Reuters reports he’ll be “shielded from the sight of slums by a newly built wall when he visits the city of Ahmedabad” —despite Indian officials’ claim it’s actually being build for “security reasons, not to conceal the slum district.” It’s also officially being described as a “beatification” project.
The wall is being hastily built around the clock and will be 400 meters long and seven feet high, concealing a slum district which houses about 800 families from view of the road that runs from the airport.
The government, Reuters says further, “did not want the slum to be seen” when Trump passes by while en route from Ahmedabad’s airport.
US President Donald Trump on his upcoming visit to India & his event at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium: I am (going to India). He (PM Modi) said we’ll have millions & millions of people. He thinks we’ll have 5-7 million people just from the airport to the new stadium (Motera Stadium) pic.twitter.com/73AVHExdIh
— ANI (@ANI) February 12, 2020
“I’ve been ordered to build a wall as soon as possible, over 150 masons are working round-the-clock to finish the project,” the contractor said.
Trump has boasted that a whopping some 5 to 7 million people are expected to show up to greet him as he drives from the airport to the new stadium.
Despite some recent somewhat strained economic tensions related to New Delhi’s imposition of retaliatory trade tariffs following the US nixing India’s duty-free benefits on up to $5.6 billion of annual exports to the US, the US-India relationship has been overall solid, with Trump and Mohdi in the past years appearing to have a warm and close friendship.