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Abstract

Historically, many cities in India have developed around the edge of the rivers owing to the advantage of economic activities like fishing, water transport etc. Laundry was also one of the livelihood mechanisms around the riverbank. The river banks since ages were used as a source of water for washing and doing laundry as well. Starting out of necessity with easy availability of water, slowly turned out into an unorganized activity and more so as a source of livelihood. Similarly the Sabarmati river bank in Ahmedabad, India had a 'Dhobi ghat' as a washing place, an unorganized activity and a means of livelihood for a community. There were around 172 dhobis using the banks of the river engaged in washing activities. The redevelopment of the river saw the displacement of these communities later to be rehabilitated in a fully functional and well-designed Laundry Campus. Moving from an informal to a formal system had its own challenges for both the community members and the local government which operates through a Special purpose vehicle called Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation (SRFDCL). This case tries to demonstrate the specific challenges and impacts that such a redevelopment projects bring along with it and also learnings generate in terms of community participation, institutional arrangement, Infrastructural requirements and mechanisms of governance to benefit most of the involved displaced communities.

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Abstract

Historically, many cities in India have developed around the edge of the rivers owing to the advantage of economic activities like fishing, water transport etc. Laundry was also one of the livelihood mechanisms around the riverbank. The river banks since ages were used as a source of water for washing and doing laundry as well. Starting out of necessity with easy availability of water, slowly turned out into an unorganized activity and more so as a source of livelihood. Similarly the Sabarmati river bank in Ahmedabad, India had a 'Dhobi ghat' as a washing place, an unorganized activity and a means of livelihood for a community. There were around 172 dhobis using the banks of the river engaged in washing activities. The redevelopment of the river saw the displacement of these communities later to be rehabilitated in a fully functional and well-designed Laundry Campus. Moving from an informal to a formal system had its own challenges for both the community members and the local government which operates through a Special purpose vehicle called Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation (SRFDCL). This case tries to demonstrate the specific challenges and impacts that such a redevelopment projects bring along with it and also learnings generate in terms of community participation, institutional arrangement, Infrastructural requirements and mechanisms of governance to benefit most of the involved displaced communities.

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