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Ellis Bridge is not what Ellis Bridge was

April 29, 2013

Folks, this is Vivekanand Bridge, not the glorious Ellis Bridge that was. No point getting overly nostalgic…

http://stamps.delcampe.net/page/item/id,31197193,var,119th-Year-of-Ellisbridge-Ahmedabad-Gujarat-Sp-cancel-on-PPC-2007-SCARCE,language,E.html

http://stamps.delcampe.net/page/item/id,31197193,var,119th-Year-of-Ellisbridge-Ahmedabad-Gujarat-Sp-cancel-on-PPC-2007-SCARCE,language,E.html

(Postal Department’s tribute to Ellisbridge @ http://stamps.delcampe.net/page/item/id,31197193,var,119th-Year-of-Ellisbridge-Ahmedabad-Gujarat-Sp-cancel-on-PPC-2007-SCARCE,language,E.html)

A plan of Victoria Garden, in relation to Ellis Bridge before the widening…

Victoria Garden Plan (Source: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation)

Victoria Garden Plan (Source: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation)

(@ http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/51406888.jpg&w=500&h=373&ei=KfJ9UbmfKpHrrQe3_4CICw&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:9,s:0,i:109&iact=rc&dur=770&page=1&tbnh=173&tbnw=217&start=0&ndsp=27&tx=135&ty=90)

From slide show on Tripadvisor

For many years I have been watching what is happening to the area around this historic monument. So much so that most people are barely conscious of the structure while passing by. There have been many stages and layers of destruction to what it was, and it is only the relic, mere symbol that is hanging low, ready to yield to practical and myopic decision making. Look at the series of short serving changes/ destructive decisions…

1. First, the ruin of Sunday Market/ Ravivari

Next,

2. Downfall of Victoria Garden’s and the road around it

3. Messing with Road leading to Ahmedshah’s mosque, area around Sewa office, and Akhandanand Press/ path to Bhadra

4. Breaking of turret next to Ellis Bridge to create a split bridge on both sides (thus breaking things even more historic, thereby establishing the logic of new over old, or measurable value like smooth movement over some vague sentiment about history)

5. Putting a pathetic excuse of a park next to Ellisbridge without parking or even a way to get there, and its psychotic security more interested in driving away visitors then letting them enjoy the

6. Constructing the mammoth of a flyover (literally) on Ashram Road (etiolating the beautiful 1938 Town Hall by Claude Batley in the process) and ending it right at the foot of Ellis Bridge.

7. The fact remains that given 120 years after the bridge, and numerous new bridges, nothing as beautiful has come up, and authorities during all these years may find it hard to ignore.

Although one may argue there were many other smaller steps leading to this spot, the decent has been constant and consistent. And more than the authorities, the citizens’ disinterest has brought it to this state. Hoping that this is what the Save Ellis Bridge’ movement might change.

In my humble opinion, the only way to avoid degradation of the area and save Ellis Bridge is the overhaul or preservation not of one element but of the entire environment. If more people are proactive, taking a long term view of our environment, built and otherwise, surely authorities will pay attention.

It is not only the designers’ job: the Great Sons of Ahmedabad’s Soil, as called by someone during this movement, too, need support.

Additional references:

Photos in skyscrapercity: @ http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=158073&page=41

Slide show by Sivan Palakkaparambil on Tripadvisor

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2 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on misentopop.

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