Ahmedabad’s heritage is on the verge of disappearing into oblivion as a major portion of its World Heritage is threatened with destruction.
However, AMC remains unmoved. There exist 382 structures of historical importance outside the Walled City that have not been notified as heritage structures. After decades of neglect and official apathy, they are in a dilapidated state today. Some, like the Fatehbaug Palace near Juhapura, are on the brink of obscurity.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation had tasked Indian National Trust of Art and Culture (INTACH) to survey buildings of historical importance outside the Walled City in December 2014. As many as 382 buildings were identified and graded by INTACH. These 382 buildings are yet to be notified even after seven years. No efforts have been made to preserve them.
Ahmedabad received the UNESCO World Heritage City tag in July 2017. Basking in the glory, AMC had made grand announcements about preserving the heritage structures by announcing measures on a war footing.
However, structures identified and graded in 2014 were not included in the heritage list. INTACH had identified 382 structures using GPS mapping. The organisation had undertaken a survey of each ward and had sent the report to AMC for further action. In all, 861 historic structures were found and 382 were graded in 1, 1A, 2B and 3 categories as per their historic significance.
A total of 52 historical structures were marked in grade-1, 38 in grade-2, 49 in grade-2B and 243 in grade-3. Besides, a list of 479 historic structures of minor significance were not included in temporary grading list.
Based on their condition, out of 382 structures 18 per cent were graded in “good”, 37 per cent in “fair”, 25 per cent in “signs of deterioration”, 15 per cent in “serious deterioration” and 5 percent in the “danger of disappearance” categories. AMC had planned to protect historical structures outside the Walled City but after getting the World Heritage City tag, they have been neglected.
This has resulted in deterioration of many structures including the Fatehbaug Palace, which is located near Juhapura. Local councillor Haji Asrar Beg Mirza said, “Fatehbaug Palace has a high historical value. It once boasted of India’s largest and most attractive garden of the Mughal era. But the civic body has neglected it and it is in a dilapidated state. It is necessary that this important structure is restored and maintained.”
CEO of Ahmedabad World Heritage City Trust Ashish Trambadia said a tentative heritage list of buildings outside the Walled City has been prepared. It includes Fatehbaug Palace also. The structures in the list have not been notified yet.
Fatehbaug Palace was built in 1582
The Fatehbaug Palace was built in 1582 by Mughal Subedar Abdul Rahim Khanekhan alias Mirza Khan to celebrate his victory over Sultan Muzaffar Shah, the last ruler of Gujarat. It was built on a 50-acre land on the banks of Sabarmati. With huge walls on three sides, a three-storeyed palace stood in the middle. A network of canals provided water to the palace from Sabarmati. Mughal emperor Jehangir was invited to Fatehbaug Palace by Kherunissa, daughter of Mirza Khan. So impressed was Jehangir by the splendour of the palace and the garden, that he mentioned it in his book “Tuzuke Jehangir”. Jehangir visited the garden for the first time on January 30, 1618, and according to historians he visited it a second time also.
Structures in danger
1. Hazrat Jalaluddin Vav, Girdharnagar
- Bhadaj Vav, Gota
- Bastions near Sarkhej Roza
- A structure in Sarkhej
- Fatehbaug Palace, Fatehwadi
- Vatva gram panchayat lake, Vatva
- Saptrushi no Aaro, Behrampura
- Nanikram Shobhraj Mill, Rakhial
- Mahisasurmardini Mandir, Behrampura
- Kalandar Shah Dargah, Behrampura
- Building on Riverfront, Dudeshwar
- Gebanshah Dargah, Dudeshwar
- Balapir Dargah, Dudeshwar
- Surma Bapa Ni Khadki, Gota
- Mochi ni Vadi no Chabutra, Kankaria
- Gujarat Ginning mill, Madhopura
- Motilal Hirabhai Mill, Madhopura
- Suprabhat Mill compound, Madhopura
- House of Kavishri, Navrangpura
- Chimney, Near Chartoda Kabaristan, Rakhial
- Rani ka Roza, Rakhial