Bhadra Pedestrian Project: ASI still waiting for civic body’s reply

The Archaeological Survey of India had sent a letter to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for the latter’s failure to discuss the Bhadra Pedestrian Project.

Written by Ujjwala Nayudu | Ahmedabad | Published: February 11, 2009 2:12:33 am

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had sent a letter to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) for the latter’s failure to discuss the Bhadra Pedestrian Project. Five days on,the civic body is yet to reply to the letter.

Shivanand Rao,Superintendent Archaeologist of ASI,said: “We have not received any response from the AMC yet. They have not even acknowledged the letter.”

Municipal Commissioner I P Gautam,said: “We have put that letter behind the project and I think ASI should do the same. They are our partners in the project and we have been taking guidelines from them on the same. We had a meeting with the ASI officials of Vadodara. We are following all the regulations,restrictions and listening to all their clauses,but they should at least appreciate and acknowledge the development.”

The project comprises of development around the Bhadra Fort and some restoration activities in the fort. While the AMC claims to develop the fort simultaneously with the Pedestrian Project,the ASI is already working on the restoration of the fort along with the restoration of a few mosques in the city.

ASI officials in Ahmedabad said the project was not discussed with them. “We had no information about the project. At present,the ASI is carrying out restoration work at the Bhadra Fort and so we have no idea about what restoration work the AMC is talking about,” said an ASI official.

Gautam added: “If we had attended all objections,Ahmedabad would have remained an old city with darwajas,with people tying goats to those walls and selling garments in the Walled City area.”

Rao said it is not the first time that the AMC has been informed that a no-objection certificate should be obtained for any new development project in and around a historical monument before the commencement of the project.

The Bhadra Pedestrian is a Rs 11.5 crore project of the AMC to redesign the Bhadra Chowk — one of the oldest areas of Ahmedabad — to a swanky new plaza connecting Bhadra Fort to Teen Darwaza.

Rao said: “We have issued the notice. We want a reply and are awaiting the same. If that doesn’t come,we will have to take some action.”

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