This one is still work in progress and phase one of the ambitious Sabarmati River front project was recently inaugurated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi recently. The riverfront project is essentially a paved embankment on either sides of the river meant for a lazy evening stroll by the riverside. It’s a novel idea and a local told me that phase two of the plan consists of building skyscrapers on either sides of the Sabarmati resembling the likes of Singapore!! The evenings are breezy and perfect for a quiet stroll…that’s worth it for sure.

SRFDCL plans to sell 21 per cent for residential and commercial purposes and rest of the land will be used to set up promenades, informal markets, gardens and to extend the road network. For maximum usage of land, the floor space index (FSI) has been raised up to 5. A portion of ten per cent has been reserved for the rehabilitation of slum dwellers. A 1997 EPC study of the estimated 10,000 families living along the riverbank concluded that 4,400 were to be resettled and rehabilitated. In 2003, the Gujarat government transferred land to AMC, stipulating that resettlement and rehabilitation was to follow epc recommendations. This has been challenged as a severe undercounting. A survey in 2003 by Swapan Garain of the International Institute for Social Entrepreneurship Management, Mumbai, established that the number of slum households along the riverbank was 14,555, of which 6,293 needed to be rehabilitated.
View of Sabarmati Riverfront May 2012, Ahmedabad

The EPC plan assures slum dwellers secure tenure, access to roads, infrastructure services and a 2–3 km proximity to their present location, to maintain livelihood sources. In 2005 however, Girish Patel, a social activist in Ahmedabad, filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court, arguing that the scheme would in fact disrupt livelihoods. Acting on the petition, on 8 March 2005, the court issued a stay order on eviction and called for policy documents, when formulated, for prior approval.