People living in different parts of Ahmedabad wish for Trump’s visit in their area after watching resurfaced roads, repaired street lights and palm tree plantation along Trump-Modi roadshow route; say bad roads, water woes, garbage dump in their areas would have been fixed had Trump visited them

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Roads and streetlights in Chandkheda and Motera, which fall on Trump’s roadshow route on Feb 24, were repaired and spruced up overnight on a war footing. Hapless residents of Jagatpur, Gota, Sarkhej, Gurukul etc. who have been putting up with water woes, bad roads and garbage dump for years now, thanks to AMC apathy, are left wishing that had Trump visited their area they would have got rid of their problems.

Ahead of Trump’s visit, Motera is a changed place. There are no sights of potholes, broken roads or streetlights along the route Trump would take to reach Motera cricket stadium. AMC has spent Rs 23 crore just on resurfacing and repairing 16 roads that lead to the cricket stadium. The total amount spent to deck up the city would be Rs 100 crore, if one were to consider expenses of every government agency involved.

Bad roads in Motera

Just 500 to 700 metres from the Motera stadium road, the roads are badly damaged. They have not been repaired as Trump’s convoy won’t pass from there. While the entire area has been spruced up, roads near Decathlon Mall, Avalon 60, Sangath Pearl, A3 Heights, Sankalp Villa Bungalow, Dwarkesh Antillia remain in poor condition.

All these societies had collectively approached AMC in 2018 but their appeal for repairing roads have fallen on deaf ears. In 2019, residents of Avalon 60 had again written to AMC but without avail. The residents wish only if Trump’s convoy passed near their societies. “ Trump sahab, hamare yahan se niklo toh hamare raaste thik hoge (Mr Trump, please pass through our area so that bad roads here get repaired).”

Parth Joshi, a resident of Motera, said, “We get water with high TDS content so much so that pipes get clogged. Despite repeated appeals, we are yet to get Narmada water.” Another resident Pragnesh Patel said, “Poor condition of roads is another concern. We have been meeting AMC officials since 2016 but without any success. There’s no drainage line here. Trump ‘s visit could have rescued us from these problems.”

Jagatpur residents await good roads

Jagatpur, which houses major townships and schemes like Godrej Garden City, sees waterlogging every year during monsoons. Bharat Gajjar, a resident of Parmeshwar-7, said, “Roads are in pathetic condition here. AMC does not pay heed to our complaints. We then approached politicians but its seems even they can’t get the work done. We were promised good roads by Diwali last year, but work is yet to start. US President’s visit to Motera stadium prodded AMC to repair roads there in no time. It seems AMC works only ahead of high profile visits. I wish Motera stadium was in Jagatpur.”

When will Pirana dump site clear?

Residents of Pirana, where garbage generated in the city, is dumped daily have got tired of making repeated appeals to the AMC to clear the site. Announcements are made by the civic body, but no action is taken on the ground. Instead, the colossal dump is rising in height.

Zafar Sheikh, a local resident, said, “It’s difficult to even pass by this dump site. You can’t imagine our plight. Incidence of cancer, TB, asthma and bronchitis is very high in our area. So many children have been orphaned due to this dump. How will it reduce in size when garbage continues to be dumped here? AMC would have completed the Herculean task if Trump was scheduled to visit this place.”

In Sarkhej, water supplied by tankers

In Sarkhej, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, people still get daily drinking water supply by tankers. Noorjahan Diwan, a local resident, said, “The area opposite Sarkhej Dargah does not have water connections. We get it by tankers. Some people depend on hand pumps. It’s shameful because we live in Ahmedabad only for namesake. I would personally welcome Trump to my home if he could help us in any way.”

Metro work renders road non-motorable

Bhavna Vasava, who resides behind Gurudwara on the SG Road, said, “Metro work is on right outside our society. The roads have been rendered non-motorable because of the neverending work. There are people living here too, so GMRC should pay some attention here as well and complete work at the earliest.” She added if roads in Motera, where too Metro work is on, can be repaired ahead of Trump’s visit then why not outside her society.

What officials say

When asked about the step-motherly treatment to the rest of the city, AMC standing committee chairman Amul Bhatt said, “We have recently approved a tender worth Rs 500 crore for roads. We will be taking up work on broken roads on top priority and they will be repaired soon. The pace will be just like it was at Motera.” He further claimed, “The roads in and around Motera were repaired from the budget of the west zone. No separate budget was allocated for resurfacing and repairing them. I don’t want any citizen to feel being left out. We will steadily but surely give them amenities.”

Amit Gupta, Chief General Manager of Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation, said, “We will soon finish the road repair work from Thaltej, Gurukul, Vijay Char Rasta to Helmet crossroads. The repairs will be done in a month’s time.” However, he was quick to add, “The roads in Motera have been repaired not because of the visit, but because we carry out repairs only after work is completed. It is a norm we follow.”

Pirana area resident Zafar Sheikh points at the ever-increasing gar bage dump. He said AMC would have finished the Herculean task of removing the dump had Trump planned his visit there

(Left) Sarkhej residents getting drinking water by tanker. Residents of Avalon 60 in Motera point at poor road condition outside the society

We get water with high TDS content so much so that pipes get clogged. Despite repeated appeals, we are yet to get Narmada water. Only if Trump had visited us…

-Parth Joshi, Motera resident

The area opposite Sarkhej Dargah does not have water connections. We get it by tankers. Some people depend on hand pumps. It’s shameful because we live in Ahmedabad

-Noorjahan Diwan, Sarkhej resident