In order to explore possibilities to replicate Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati riverfront project in Delhi along the Yamuna river, a thirteen-member team headed by Secretary, Environment and Forests, Sanjiv Kumar, reached Ahmedabad on a two-day visit. The team that is learnt to be sent by Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to study the riverfront project in Delhi would be submitting a report on the possibilities of replicating it in Delhi to L-G’s office soon after it returns to Delhi.
Also, the visit is said to be a result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Jung last week where Modi suggested to explore the possibilities of development of the Yamuna river on the lines of Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati river.
“The team is on a study tour of Sabarmati riverfront project to find out possibilities of its replication in Delhi for river Yamuna. The report is to be submitted to the Lieutenant Governor,” confirmed team member Dr S D Singh, CEO Delhi Parks and Garden Society. The team members included heads and members of Delhi’s various departments. They included CEO Delhi Jalboard Vijai Kumar, CEO Delhi Parks and Garden Society Dr S D Singh, DU Professor C R Babu, DDA landscape expert Savita Bhandari and members of Tourism and Flood Control Department and PWD.
The team started the day with a visit to the gardens developed at a cost of Rs 18 crore on the Sabarmati riverfront near Subhash bridge and Gandhi bridge. They were inaugurated with much fanfare in October last year by BJP senior leader L K Advani, the team studied the riverfront development and also the development of the reclaimed land into public parks.
This was followed by a general presentation of the Rs 1,250 crore Sabarmati riverfront project under Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Limited (SRFDCL) that was formed in 1997 by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the government of Gujarat. Its construction began in 2005. The presentation was given by SRFDCL experts at AMC’s main office and was presided over by AMC commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra.
Post-lunch was scheduled for a technical session and a technical presentation at AMC’s Usmapura office. This was accompanied by question answer round where SRFDCL engineers answered all their queries. The team is scheduled to visit the recently inaugurated dhobhi ghat and gujari bazaar at Sabarmati riverfront on Friday. Singh, who is also the Nodal Officer of Delhi’s Water Bodies, added that the team is trying to collect as much information as possible, both in terms of documents and notes. “The team members showed a lot of interest in the details,” said one of the AMC officials accompanying the Delhi team.
The team had also enquired about the resettlement issues. “Besides general presentation of the project, they had queries on the resettlement and rehabilitation issues of slums. They wanted to know how slums on the riverfront were rehabilitated and also about various related court cases,” said Mohapatra.
The Rs 1,250 crore self-financed project aims at covering its cost by auctioning of 14.5 per cent of total 202.79 hectares of the reclaimed area along the banks. The project has already bagged HUDCO National Award 2012 for innovative infrastructure development for the Riverfront Project, the Prime Minister award for the best concept and design of a public project and the National Safety Council of India, Safety Award in 2006.