Families displaced by Sabarmati Riverfront continue to face hardships

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

January 6, 2020

Location of Conflict




Reason or Cause of Conflict

Urban Development (Other than Smart Cities)



People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)







The Sabarmati River Front Development project was envisaged in 1997 when the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) established a special purpose vehicle, the Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation Limited (SRFDCL), to develop the citys riverfront.  Its 1998 proposal not only sought to ambitiously redevelop the riverfront, but also brought the relocation and rehabilitation of the riverfront urban poor within the scope of the project. It recommended that 6 affected slum residents be resettled on the riverfront itself, stating that displacing them more than 23 kilometres from their present sites would affect their livelihoods negatively. A PIL was filed in the Gujarat High Court in April 2005. The court ruling gave a Stay Order, asking the government authorities to spell out their plans for resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) and to not evict any family until further orders by the court. For the next three years, AMC continued with the construction of the Riverfront project without finalizing their R&R plans. Despite the Stay Order, AMC also tried to evict some families from different riverfront slums. AMC submitted their R&R Policy to the court in mid2008. This exposed that AMC had turned to the Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) component of the Central governments Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) to finance the construction of the resettlement housing. This was contrary to the 1998 proposal that had proposed to raise the money for resettlement through the Riverfront project itself. AMC had also already begun construction of BSUP houses at a number of sites in the city, all away from the riverfront. After three phases of resettlement in 200910, AMC / SRFDCL carried out demolitions in the riverfront slums in May 2011. On not having any housing facility or an alternative interim rehabilitation, over 2000 families, including small children and older people were forced to live under the sweltering sun next to their demolished houses. Currently, the displaced people are facing increased unemployment and poverty causing the loss of real income and increased expenditure. The resettlement had profound impacts on their livelihood due to the distance of the resettlement sites. The average distance of the resettlement sites from the central city area is seven kilometres. By 2017, at least 25 persons had committed suicide driven by depression because of loss of their livelihood.

Region Classification


Type of Land


Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Grazing Land), Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):


Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):



Starting Year


Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation Limited, Gujarat High Court

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Sabarmati Nagrik Adhikar Manch, Rahethan Adhikar Manch, St. Xavier’s Social Service Society

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

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  • Links Related to the Conflict:

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