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Travelling back in time some half a century ago, the river Sabarmati was a large, dirty, stinking stream running across the city. The nearby small and big factories would leave the waste to flow free in the river without treating and the river was not at all maintained. The areas that were next to the river weren’t preferred and were majorly occupied by slum dwellers.
The areas in Ahmedabad that were away from river were looked up to and not the ones by the river. On the contrary, today movies are being shot near this river, marriages are organised, people throw mid-river parties and even Chinese President was welcomed here. There is a drastic change in the river and by the support and work of citizens and officials; Sabarmati has become the model river front project in the state and nation.
The river Sabarmati originates from Dhebar Lake in Udaipur and merges in the Gulf of Cambay.
With development and reformation, this city got a new identity in the name of Sabarmati river front. As opposed to past, now there are waiting lists and longstanding bookings of buyers to buy property facing river Sabarmati.
The demand for areas that are near the river has reached the peak. The scenario here is no different from Mumbai, as people in Mumbai can do anything for a sea-facing house, Amdavadis too, can do anything for a river-facing villa or apartment.
There are eight bridges in the city over the river and huge gardens are created under each flyover for Amdavadis to get refreshed. Popularity of the river has increased so much that areas beyond the river started getting developed. Bridges like Subhash Bridge, Ellis Bridge, Dadhichi-rushi, Gandhi Bridge, Nehru Bridge, Sardar, Ambedkar, Vasna and Railway Bridge connect the two sides.
Each of these bridges is well-constructed and the aid free flow of traffic. After the construction of the riverfront, Sabarmati has emerged a popular tourist spot. There are two roads made on either sides of the river that run parallel with the river across the city so that one can blaze a trail in nature’s arm by driving by the river.
Busy areas, like Usmanpura and Lal darwaja, have also been uplifted in realty market due to river front development. Amdavadis are dreaming of river facing apartments, villas, bungalows or offices and they are ready to pay a whopping price to own such property.
City-based builder Rohan Patel says, “The areas near the river seem to have touched parasmani that is suddenly the prices shot up. It is beautiful to have such amazing locations in the middle of the city. For this location, Amdavadis are paying almost 10-20 percent higher for property depending on its proximity and view.”
This trend has been doing rounds in the city since over half a decade now and still continues to charm people. The commercial upswing is that the riverside locations have been bought by investors and developers and made into huge party plots. These party plots and ground are often used for marriages, grand parties, music concerts and various private and public events.
There is a special boating trip in Sabarmati in which a huge boat is decorated as per demand and taken into middle of the river for birthday celebration with 10-15 guests over it. Apart from this, eateries, adventure sports, and such other businesses have been flourishing.
Pragna Jain, a doctor, says, “My husband Chirag and I are nature lovers, we wanted a house in the city area that had excellent panoramic view, fresh air, bright light and peaceful exteriors. A river-facing house was a solution to this.
After Sabarmati was developed, many people wanted such river facing villas that we had to literally hunt for two years and pay a bomb to have lounge by the stream. Waking up to roaring river, chirping birds, seeing the sun rising over the stream and feel the coolest breeze is a heavenly feeling that we cherish every day.”
A 3BHK river facing apartment in Ahmedabad can go up to Rs 80 to 90 lakh and above depending on amenities provided and overall view.
Garima Malvanker, Times Property, The Times of India, Ahmedabad