| A view of the diara, where the Ganga River City would come up. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Ready with the master plan, star architect Hafeez Contractor has set the ambitious river city ball rolling.
During a whirlwind visit to the city on Thursday, he made a presentation before the urban development department officers. He flew out of the town soon after his interaction with the officers.
Contractor last year proposed to develop Ganga River City on 1,740 acres of diara land (sandy landscape) along the Ganga between Danapur Cantonment and Collectorate Ghat.
He told The Telegraph over phone from Mumbai: “Ganga River City is the best thing that can happen to Patna. This project appeared to me as the most sustainable way to undertake large-scale development in the city. We will use the land left behind by the river after the change in its course. I started working on this project around a year ago after sharing my idea with chief minister Nitish Kumar during his visit to Mumbai.”
According to sources, the total carpet area of residential complexes in Contractor’s master plan is 6.5 million sqm. Another 650 acres would be developed as green space.
The proposed river city would have world-class commercial establishments, including malls and wholesale markets, seven-star hotels, schools, hospitals, meditation centres, art galleries, convention centres and sports centres. It would also have a 130-m-long promenade. The river city and the existing city would be connected through elevated corridors or the proposed six-lane Ganga Driveway.
“I have submitted my master plan — based on all possible ways of developing the river city — to the state government. Now, I will wait for the requisite approvals before going ahead with the detailing of the project.”
The urban development secretary, S. Siddharth, told The Telegraph on Friday: “The river city project would be a self-sustained township. It would be developed utilising the unused Ganga diara land. But the project is in premature stage. It has to get clearances from the water resources department and the ministry of environment and forests.”
Siddharth claimed that if things go according to the plan, the construction activities at the Ganga River City site would be in final stages within eight years.
According to sources, the river city project would be executed in public-private partnership mode. Real estate being a profitable business in the state capital, developers would swarm to lap up the project.
Contractor claimed that the Ganga River City could be the first step towards the complete overhaul of Patna. He said: “Redevelopment of cities has become an utmost necessity today. Like most cities in the country, Patna also needs place for residential expansion as well as for setting up new offices and commercial establishments. Ganga River City would give the much-needed thrust for an international-level development of the state capital. The development of other unused or unplanned areas of the city can be taken up subsequently in phases.”
The 61-year-old legendary architect is one of the official empanelled architects of the Bihar State Housing Board. He has made ambitious plans for redevelopment of Sector-3 and Sector-6 of Bahadurpur Housing Board Colony in Patna and development of satellite townships in Gaya.
Another ambitious plan from the brilliance of Contractor is the redevelopment of Maurya Lok Complex.