Ahmedabad Gujari Bazaar: An Alternative Rehabilitation Plan

This project documents the 600-year old Ahmedabad Gujari Bazaar (Sunday Market), as it operates in contemporary times as an economic, social and cultural institution widely considered as a rich legacy of Ahmedabad’s cultural heritage. The Sunday Market forms a significant part of the local economy, predominantly serving lower income groups who earn their livelihoods through the informal sector. The Sunday Market is governed by the Ahmedabad Gujari Association (AGA), formed at the market’s establishment. This documentation and advocacy focuses on the threat of eviction to the market due to the city’s plans for the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project (SRFDP). The SRFDP proposes to evict the Gujari Market from its current location, and replace it with a new marketplace to serve the city’s higher income groups and foreign visitors.

Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Ahmedabad Gujari Association
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA)
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (NID)

Project Management and technical advisement as member of NID team


Illegal Demolitions by the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project

The SRFDP shows no clear plans for the market’s relocation, and all research findings indicate a severe threat to the livelihoods of individuals and families associated with the market, as well as their exclusion from decision-making processes about the market’s future. Currently, the market site is accessibly and centrally located on the Sabarmati Riverbank. Since no rehabilitation plan has been provided by the City, traders, their dependents and livelihood networks have an insecure future. The SRFDP’s intrusion on the site in 2010-11 has increased density and has adversely affected access, circulation and cleanliness in the Gujari Bazaar.

Community-Based Planning Responses

Responding to the SRFDP’s threat of eviction, the AGA initiated a community-based design process for an alternative rehabilitation plan in order to protect the market’s strategic advantages while also modernizing it to match Ahmedabad’s global city aspirations. Their team included faculty and students from the National Institute of Design (NID) and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). As a result of Public Hearings and Public Interest Litigation filed by the AGA, the alternative Rehabilitation Plan is being discussed with the Municipal Commissioner to ensure a comprehensive, socially-viable and technically-sound rehabilitation plan to sustain the Gujari Bazaar. This alternate rehabilitation plan was used as part of Public Interest Litigation to stop SRFDP construction on the site, and to pressure the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to provide suitable rehabilitation.

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To encourage critical dialogue, empathy and transparency about the Gujari Bazaar’s struggle for survival, we created GujariBazaar.Org to link with existing efforts.

The site’s strategy is three-fold. First, a six-column overview introduces the visitor to the market’s history, operations, threats, and community responses. Second, films, audio interviews and images share the personal stories and livelihoods of the market’s 2200 traders. Third, an interactive time line aims to transparently present the historical, press and legal events in the market’s history.

Ahmedabad Gujari Association
Navdeep Mathur
Vineet Diwadkar
Tanishka Kachru
Sanaa Degani
Mansi Thakkar
Ritwick Nandi

Pragya Mishra and Sushmeit Madhavan