Lecture by Prof.Chhaya

December 11, 2008



(Notes from introduction given by Prof. Chhaya)

The first exercise of the workshop was the analysis of the environs of the entire stretch of the Sabarmati River. The participants were given a Google Earth image of the entire length of the Sabarmati basin and the reading of patterns on the map was discussed. In discussion with the students, it was found that the following could be observed from the google image:

settlements, farmlands, forest areas, eroded bad lands, grazing lands (gochar), estuarine areas, wet lands, industry, linkages/ movement.

In terms of a document, the students were also required to record elevations of places, important landmarks not covered above, and distances from nearest urban centres.


Among the many studies and projects done by CEPT over the years, some are mentioned below.

1. Water bodies studies around Ahemedabad

There are a number of lakes around Ahmedabad that served as important sources of water for the populations around the lakes. Studies of these water bodies were done by CEPT concerning various issues such as revitalization of water bodies and topography and behaviour of the water bodies. Some interesting findings are that the lakes to the west of the Sabarmati starting from North – Wadaj, Thaltej, Vastrapur, Malav and Sarkhej tank – were topographically connected in terms of overflow. Rain waters filling up the Wadaj Talav would overflow downwards to the other talavs and subsequently reach a catchment tank before flowing into the Sarkhej tank. With rampant construction in the west of Ahmedabad today, the natural flow patterns are disrupted and consequently, roads such as Drive In road flood every monsoon.

2. Mill lands around Ahmedabad old city

Studies of closed mill properties forming a ring around the old city – a few decades back, this mill land ring had the potential to form a planning resource that could act as an interface between the congested old city and the hinterlands.

3. Studies of medieval walled city of Ahmedabad

Extensively studied with works ranging from building typology (both institutions and dwellings), topography of old city (complete absence of flooding in the streets of the old city) to technological enquiries such as earthquake resistance of old city buildings.

4. Earthquake related initiatives

Early student initiative to the Bhuj 2001 earthquake in the form of collection of relief material and establishment of a help desk. Later efforts included an extensive damage assessment survey of nearly 5000 buildings in Ahmedabad.

5. Public transport in Ahmedabad

An on-going project to design the Bus Rapid Transit System for Ahmedabad

(These notes are highlights of the introduction given by Prof.Chhaya, and not a transcript of the entire session)