In anticipation of one of the G20 summit meetings taking place in the port city, the Greater visakha Municipal Corporation (GVMC) caused a stir by placing verdant shade nets over slums along the highway leading from the airport to the city. According to former bureaucrat and activist E.A.S. Sarma, GVMC is trying to conceal the slums from the foreign representatives by covering them with green tarpaulin sheets.

On Tuesday, the city hosted the start of the two-day G20 summit meeting, which is being attended by about 200 delegates from different nations. The slums, according to the retired IAS officer, are a living proof of GVMC's and the government's failure to carry out slum welfare initiatives year after year. Even in the most recent budget authorised by the GVMC, the Corporation allocated funds for contractor-driven projects rather than allocating 40% of the budgeted amount for slum development, exposing the extent of corruption within it, according to Sarma.

Sarma, who published a few images of slums being covered, claimed in a statement that they show the pitiful state of a slum cluster, which includes a slum where 60 Chenchus, a member of a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG), reside in appalling conditions. This slum is located on the airport route in ASR nagar at Thatichetlapalem. "This is nothing more than a mockery of the state and GVMC's disdain for the most marginalised communities. In order to stop atrocities against Scheduled Tribes, this strictly draws the criminal provisions of the law, he said.

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