Sabarmati Riverfront, Ahmedabad
About Sabarmati Riverfront
The modern city of Ahmedabad was founded in 1411 along the east bank of the Sabarmati river. The river had been the important source of water, economic and recreational activities in past. Over the years, the city expanded and the river was neglected. The river became polluted due to flow of untreated sewage through storm water lines and dumping of industrial waste. The slum encroachment along the banks were prone to floods and had no infrastructure. The river became inaccessible for general public and cause of health hazards. So it was proposed to develop the bank of theriver to turn it into major urban asset. The first proposal for developing the riverfront was given in 1961 by prominent citizens of the city. French architect Bernard Kohn proposed an ecological valley in Sabarmati basin stretched from Dharoi Dam to Gulf of Cambay in the 1960s. In 1964, he proposed Integrated Planning & Development of Sabarmati Riverfront by reclaiming 30 hectares of land. The project was considered feasible in 1966 by the Government of Gujarat. Later he distanced himself from the project citing difference between his proposal and the project being implemented. In 1976, the Riverfront Development Group proposed an incremental approach for the construction. In 1992, National River Conservation Plan proposed the construction of sewers and pumping stations to reduce water pollution.The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) set up the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd (SRFDCL) in May 1997 funded by Government of India with a seed capital of ₹10 million (US$140,000) for riverfront development. Environmental Planning Collaborative (EPC) led by Bimal Patel prepared the feasibility report in 1998. Initially the proposal was to construct the riverfront to cover a stretch of 10.4 km stretch from Subhash bridge to Vasna barrage and to reclaim 162 hectares (400 acres) of the riverbed. In 2003, the project extended to cover an 11.25 km stretch and reclamation of 202.79 hectares (501.1 acres) and was put on fast track. The project estimated to cost ₹12 billion (US$170 million) which will be recovered by selling of part of reclaimed land for commercial and residential purpose. Ahmedabad based HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt. Ltd is roped in as the main architect of the project. The project has encountered several delays due to concerns regarding water level, flooding, rehabilitation of displaced slum dwellers and the opposition from activists involved with slum rehabilitation.The construction began in 2005. Its heavy engineering and land reclamation is completed and the sewage system is also finished at the cost of ₹ 900 crore. The 11.5 km long lower promenades on both banks are completed and some of its section were opened to public on 15 August 2012. It was inaugurated by then state Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Following this, the waterfront is gradually opened to public as and when facilities are finished. Various facilities are actively under construction since then. Total ₹ 1152 crore is spent on the project by 2014.