More open spaces less land for business on Sabarmati riverfront

Ahmedabad residents may get to have more open spaces for themselves and their children on the Sabarmati riverfront, though discussions in this regard are still in a nascent stage. The Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Limited (SRFDCL) is thinking of reducing the land area set aside for commercial development on the reclaimed riverfront, and using the land thus saved for parks and other public spaces.

Members of the general board of the SRFDCL on Wednesday discussed the proposal to reduce the land area earmarked for commercial utilization, from the original 20% to 10.74% of the total of 168 hectares of reclaimed land. This land lies on the riverfront between Subhash Bridge and Vasna barrage.

If the proposal is accepted, only 17 hectares (10.74%) of the reclaimed riverfront land may finally be auctioned for commercial purposes. This would be worlds away from the original plan to sell 32 hectares to fund the Rs 1200 crore project.

Sources in the SRFDCL said the proposal appears to be a result of CM Narendra Modi’s suggestion to the AMC that it keep the riverfront project people-friendly.

While the proposed reduction in area for commercial development means more parks and public spaces for Ahmedabad, it also seems to signal a change in the original plan for the project.The plan originally was to project the riverfront project as a scheme that will fill the city’s skyline with skyscrapers. Leader of opposition in the AMC Surendra Baxi confirmed that discussion to reduce the area of land to be auctioned for commercial purposes had indeed taken place.

“But we raised the question whether the 17 hectares of land that will eventually be sold will be sufficient to raise enough funds for the project,” he said. “There was, however, no discussion on exactly how the land thus saved (10% of the total space) will actually be developed.”

The land area set aside for commercial development was first increased after which it has been gradually whittled down. From 20% of the total of 168 hectares, it came down to just 15% of the reclaimed land.

Source: DnaIndia