DNA | Last Modified - Jan 14, 2012, 05:00 AM IST
Ahmedabad: Work on the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's (AMC) ambitious Bhadra beautification project is all set to begin from January 26. In fact, the whole of the Bhadra Fort area will be declared out of bounds for all vehicular traffic once the work begins.
In 10 months time, the stretch between Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaza will have been transformed into a devoted pedestrian zone with a specially designed walkway. There will be none of the chaos or the traffic the area is associated with currently; the AMC plans to turn the entire Bhadra area into a centre for leisure activities.
The project, which is being implemented under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), had been in the conception and planning stage for several years. The whole project includes development of the public plaza and a pedestrian space from Bhadra Fort to Teen Darwaja, restoration of the fort itself, development of Azamkhan Sarai area, a pedestrian bridge connecting Bhadra fort to the Sabarmati riverfront, and multilevel parking space at Lal Darwaja.
Work on the public plaza and the pedestrian space from Bhadra Fort to Teen Darwaja will commence on January 26 and will be completed within 10 months, said municipal commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra.
Contract for work on this part of the project (worth Rs 32.82 crore) was awarded to MS Khurana Engineering Ltd in June 2011 and the deadline was fixed at 12 months. As per the municipal commissioner's estimate, the contractor will need four more months to complete work on both the public plaza and the pedestrian space.
The AMC, along with the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), plans to restore the splendour of Bhadra Fort. The fort was built by the founder of the city, Ahmed Shah, in 1411 AD. The project has been designed by the Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) and the Vastu Shilp Foundation.
Once work begins early in 2012, the entire project should ideally be completed within 18 months. The two identified zones under the project include the stretch between Sabarmati riverside and Bhadra Fort, and the stretch from Bhadra Fort to Manek Chowk. The area between Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaza will be developed exclusively as a pedestrian zone with a specially designed walkway.
Various landscape and design elements like fountains, lighting, swanky street furniture, signage and public amenities will built to beautify the Bhadra Plaza. The AMC's idea is to ensure that the area is used as a city-level public place by keeping it open round the clock.
"The plaza can also play host to music concerts, garba, and various socio-cultural activities with the brilliantly illuminated Bhadra Fort as a backdrop," said an AMC official.
The completion of this project will make it easier for the tourist to know about Ahmedabad. This is because Premabhai Hall will be developed as a City Centre that will tell visitors the history of Ahmedabad city, its glorious past, and its plans for the present and the future.
The AMC has already struck a deal with the Brahmchari Wadi Trust, owner of Premabhai Hall, at a cost of Rs 10 crore. "The deal is being processed and after receiving the go-ahead from the district collector, we will release payment for it," said Mohapatra.
The Bhadra Plaza will be free of traffic. "We are discussing the issue with the police department and the area will be declared out of bounds for traffic within one week," said Mohapatra. He also said that the vendors operating in the area will not be affected and will be looked after under the street vendor policy.