In a bid to win the Smart City challenge and receive the funding under the Centre’s Smart City Mission, Ahmedabad is emphasising on design innovations that would reflect both tradition and modernity.
It has ambitious plans for the redevelopment of nearly 70 hectares of area around the Sabarmati Ashram, the he central point from where Mahatma Gandhi launched the struggle for India’s Independence.
Ahmedabad is competing against five other Gujarat cities —Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara and Dahod — to be among 100 Smart Cities proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Out of the 70 hectares that will get a design facelift, the major area covers Ramapir no tekra, which is considered to be one of the largest slum areas on the western bank of Sabarmati river surrounding Sabarmati Ashram, with nearly 8,000 dwellings, reports have said.
This falls in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC’s) West zone and has been selected as the only area proposed to be redeveloped under the “area based development” for Ahemedabad’s Smart City project.
While new dwellings under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) housing scheme will replace the existing slum on both the sides of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) route, starting from Vadaj circle, the area behind this will have a huge garden measuring up to 60 hectares.
It is a designers’ challenge to handle this project. The slum area-based redevelopment will have two components — development of transit-oriented zones built on the principle of promoting non-motorised transport and provisions of smart infrastructure and the second component of in-situ redevelopment of slum area that will include residential and commercial components to be developed on a private-public-partnership (PPP) model.
“Among the feedback and suggestions invited from city residents through various media to choose among these area options, Sabarmati Ashram received the maximum votes. Also, this would give us an opportunity to develop a huge park spread over 60 hectares,” said AMC commissioner D Thara.
The other three areas that AMC has shortlisted for redevelopment included Bopal-Ambli, Kathwada and Central Business District (CBD) on Ashram Road.
AMC officials said the redevelopment will be undertaken under the EWS housing scheme where the dwellers would be provided one to two years of transit accommodation.