Gujarat High Court rejects plea against Sabarmati redevelopment

State would retain Gandhi Ashram’s ethos, court told

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea filed by Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar Gandhi challenging the proposed revamp or redevelopment of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad at the estimated cost of ₹1,200-crore.

The High Court bench comprising Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh held that apprehensions of the petitioner stood allayed in the government’s order proposing to revamp or redevelop the Ashram while retaining its historical significance and ethos.

Also read | Protest march against Sabarmati Ashram redevelopment reaches Gujarat from Maharashtra

During the court hearing, the Advocate General for Gujarat, Kamal Trivedi submitted that the revamp plan proposed by the State government won’t disturb the existing Sabarmati Ashram and that all efforts would be made for the improvement of the Ashram and its surroundings as it seeks to restore the Ashram from existing 5 acre to 55 acre.

He further submitted that when the visitors visit the Ashram, they have a look at three places — Gandhi Ashram in Hriday Kunj, where Mahatma himself lived, the Museum, and Magan Villa, and it covers an area of just one acre, which wouldn’t be touched during the revamp.

He added that the Government’s plan was just to develop 55 acres of land surrounding the Ashram and create infrastructure in the area.

The bench observed that the fears expressed by the petitioner stand allayed as the State government has come up with a comprehensive proposal to revamp and redevelop the premises without disturbing the existing structures.

The court also held that the infrastructure facilities to be created by the State authorities would only help in attracting more people to visit the Ashram and its surroundings.

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