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Sabarmati ashram project: Trust set up by govt to start work from Transferee Hostel in a week

Officer on Special Duty for the project and retired IAS officer IK Patel said, “Any Trust will need its own registered office like a company. And so, we had sought space at Transferee Hostel from the Gujarat government. It has now been allotted and it will be functional within a week.”

Written by Parimal A Dabhi , Sohini Ghosh | Ahmedabad |
Updated: January 19, 2022 8:29:56 am
Sabarmati ashram project, Gujarat, Gujarat news, Ahmedabad news, Indian express news, Indian expressThe resolution issued by the Industries and Mines department designates the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd (SRFDCL) as the implementing authority.

The Mahatma Gandhi Sabarmati Ashram Memorial Trust (MGSAMT), a registered body set up by the Gujarat government to implement its Rs 1,200-crore Gandhi Ashram Memorial & Precinct Development project, has been allotted an address at Transferee Hostel near Subhash Bridge in Ahmedabad. The trust is likely to start functioning from the office within a week.

Officer on Special Duty for the project and retired IAS officer IK Patel confirmed this and told The Indian Express, “Any Trust will need its own registered office like a company. And so, we had sought space at Transferee Hostel from the Gujarat government. It has now been allotted and it will be functional within a week.”

The Transferee Hostel is the same building where a judicial inquiry commission – headed by former Supreme Court judge the late G T Nanavati – to probe into the 2002 Godhra Train Carnage and subsequent Gujarat riots was based out of.

Patel added that this will be the temporary address of the Trust and subsequently, it will be shifted in the project within Sabarmati Ashram premises.

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He said that currently the properties within Ashram premises are owned by various trusts connected with the Ashram and they would have been required to enter into a rent agreement with any of them to start the office from within there.

As per a Gujarat government resolution in September 2021, the trust/society has been empowered to “formulate a scheme or schemes” for carrying out any of the objectives of this society and for the management of MGSAMT.
The resolution also says it shall also function to “acquire any body, corporate, associate, cooperative organisation, advisory societies and other suitable bodies” as it may deem necessary in order to carry out the objectives “effectively”.

The governing council of the trust can also “sell, lease, transfer, dispose of, hire or give on rent all or any assets of the society”.

MGSAMT was registered in September last year after the Governing Council approved the Memorandum of Association (MoA) for the trust.

As per the resolution dated September 6, 2021, the trust would “the formation of a Trust to facilitate and expedite functions and activities related to the Conservation, Development and Maintenance of the Ashram Memorial was under active consideration of the State Government.”

An autonomous body formed under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and the Bombay Public Charitable Trust Act, 1950, the 12 main objectives of the trust includes to “develop, operate and maintain memorial of Mahatma Gandhi” as well as to “develop and maintain the site(s) and the surrounding area(s) of the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi”.

It will also build and maintain museums, art galleries, auditoriums and establish, develop and maintain libraries, apart from organising seminars, symposia and so on.

The governing council of the trust currently lists seven members all of whom are government functionaries, and its members can go up to 20, the decision on its size being that of the council or the state government.

Kartikeya Sarabhai, one of the trustees of Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust that manages around five acre area of original Ashram, refused to comment on the government resolution and said , “the Prime Minister himself has said that he does not want sarkari karan (governmentalisation) (of the memorial).”

A senior official connected with the development said that the seven members of the governing council of the trust are also the trustees of MGSAMT and that more trustees will be added to it from the six trusts which are the custodians of the Ashram land.

The original Ashram was around 120 acres where six trusts are custodians of the land, these being the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust, Sabarmati Harijan Ashram Trust, The Khadi Gramodyog Prayog Samiti, The Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala Trust, Gujarat Harijan Sevak Sangh, and Gujarat Khadi Gramodyog Mandal.

Under the project, Gujarat government in collaboration with the Central Government is planning to make the entire Gandhi Ashram precincts into a world class memorial.

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