Since the Central government has waved a green flag for the 1,200 crore Sabarmati Ashram project, the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust(SAPMT) has started a consultation process to prepare a concept note on the exhibition and experience a visitor would be having while visiting the ashram premise.
SAPMT issued a statement on Sunday “The redevelopment proposal for the Sabarmati Ashram precinct in Ahmedabad has led to much discussion and several concerns have been raise Currently, the area for visitors known as the Ashram is about 3 acres on which stands Hriday Kunj, which was home to Mahatma Gandhi from 1917 to 1930. It also houses the museum designed by Charles Correa. The memorial is visited by over 3,000 people every day.”
It adds, “The area which people visit is a fraction of the original ashram that was spread over 120 acres of land and had 63 structures… Nearly 48 of these buildings are present even today. With a view to give visitors a larger experience of the ashram as it was, the restoration plan proposes that a larger area of approximately 55 acres be developed similar to the current memorial giving the visitors an understanding of the variety of activities and the functioning of the ashram in those days,”.
The trust has received a communication from the Executive Council on preparing the concept note in the first week of October and since then they have held a meeting of trustees of all six trusts – said the Director of SAPMT Atul Pandya.
Many eminent personalities have opposed the redevelopment plant saying that it will severely compromise with the present-day sanctity of the ashram and can be envisioned at best as either Gandhi Theme Park or Gandhi’s second assassination.