Hyderabad is gearing up to greet Trump’s daughter Ivanka ….reports Mohammed Shafeeq
With less than a week left for Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), Hyderabad, the Information Technology hub of India, is getting decked up for the delegates from 150 countries, especially US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.
The roads, many of them battered in rains, are being recarpetted with municipal workers filling up potholes and covering the open manholes.
The city authorities have also launched a drive against the menace of beggars. Over 200 beggars were shifted to shelter homes in two jails. The officials, however, said they were already working for beggar-free city and the drive is not related to Ivanka Trump’s visit.
The sprawling campus of 35 acres comprising Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) and Hyderabad International Trade Expositions (Hitex), the venue of the three-day summit was abuzz with activity as workers were racing against time to give final touches.
Access to HICC has already been restricted with the security personnel erecting barricades on all the entry points. They are thoroughly checking the identity of visitors before allowing them in.
HICC, a huge convention centre equipped with the world-class infrastructure, is getting the facelift for the prestigious event, which will see participation of 1,500 delegates from around the world.
Ivanka Trump, who is also advisor to the White House, will be leading the US delegation. She along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the inaugural session on November 28 evening. She will also speak at another session the next day.
While inaugural plenary and other sessions will be held at HICC, the nearby Hitex complex will be used for other summit related activities.
Work was in full swing at HICC, where the officials of the central government have already opened an office to ensure smooth arrangements for the summit, being co-hosted by India and the US.
The employees with the help of hydraulic machines were seen attending to various repair and maintenance works in the premises of HICC and abutting Novotel, a 287-room capacity five-star hotel.
The convention centre, that can hold 6,000-delegate plenary, has hosted many global events since 2006. These include Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Asian Development Bank meeting, Global Investors Meet and Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
Vehicles of officials, including security agencies could be seen zipping through the HICC-Hitex complex, located about three km from Hyderabad Information Technology and Engineering Consultancy City, popularly known as Hitec City, the IT hub which houses several global tech giants.
Workers of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) were seen relaying one-km road that leads to the venue from Hitec City road. Work was also on to relay the footpaths, paint the kerbs and flyovers and beautification of medians.
Similar activity was seen on the road which leads to Westin Hotel in Mindspace Raheja ITPark, where Ivanka Trump is expected to stay during her two-day visit.
Taj Falaknuma, the palace hotel where Modi will be hosting a dinner for Trump’s daughter and other delegates on November 28 and Golconda Fort, where Telangana government is hosting a reception for delegates the next day, were also being spruced up.
Falaknuma is located in the old city of Hyderabad, about 30 km from HICC and surrounded by densely populated neighbourhoods and narrow roads. The area is virtually under the control of the police and security agencies working to ensure fool-proof security.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao will host a dinner on November 29 at the historic Golconda Fort.
As both Ivanka Trump and Modi would have left the city by then, the dinner will be attended by other delegates.
“The state government is spending Rs eight crore on organising the summit, dinner and transport arrangements,” said Jayesh Ranjan, secretary, Information Technology and Commerce, Government of Telangana.
This does not include the money being spent by GHMC for beautification around the venue, Falaknuma, Golconda and also near the star hotels where the delegates will be staying.