Chief Minister Narendra Modi has promised to build nearly 50 lakh houses for the neo-middle, middle-class and slumdwellers in Gujarat. Inaugurating a slew of city projects here on Monday, which included a draw of lots for homes for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Low Income Groups (LIG), Modi said that nearly 22 lakh houses will be built in urban areas and 28 lakh in rural areas in a time-bound manner.
First in the list of projects that were inaugurated by Modi today was a two-lane two-way 551-metre-long flyover opposite Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Ahmedabad. Built under the Swarnim Jayanti Mukhmantri Shahri Vikas Yojana the cost of the flyover is Rs 39 lakh. For the first time, nearly 3000-square feet space on both sides under the bridge is useable.
Modi then rushed to the Sabarmati riverfront to virtually inaugurate a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance system, the riverfront market and a dhobi ghat. He also inaugurated the computerised draw of lots for EWS and LIG housing scheme and Gujarat Housing Board scheme under Mukhyamantri Grah Yojana.
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“In the last 100 years what was not done in the housing sector here has been done recently. Like all good projects, there was a lot of opposition and bad publicity for the Sabarmati Riverfront project. I would invite those critics to witness for themselves that we have provided better houses to slumdwellers who for two or three generations were living in a very bad condition on the riverfront,” said Modi addressing a large gathering at the riverfront area.
Speaking about the Gujri market, Modi said that previously labourers and poor people who could not afford expensive items visited this market. But like Kankaria lake development that has entirely changed the nature of visitors, this new riverfront market will attract middle and upper middle class.
Appreciating the newly-developed riverfront market in place of the old Gujri market that has a 600-year-old history, the president of Gujri market association Nafis Ahmad Allahwala said, “Certainly it is a good initiative of the government. Earlier we had a small space for the market without proper facilities including electricity and water. We had to shut our shops before it got dark. Now we have a proper allotted place.”
The riverfront market will accommodate more than 1,600 vendors at a monthly rent of Rs 25. While Sundays are fixed for gujri market vendors, Monday to Friday would be allotted to other vendors as a part of theme market. Similarly, 168 dhobis would be accommodated at the new dhobi ghat who have to pay a monthly maintenance charge of Rs 300.
The space under the flyover at IIM-A has a niche specially planned for students “Keeping in mind the education institutes in the vicinity, there are plans to offer this space for a similar kind of activity that would be helpful for the students. Though it is yet to be decided what activity would be offered but certainly no shops would be opened as that could lead to traffic congestion on the roads,” said Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) Guruprasad Mohapatra.