Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is firm about retaining Ellisbridge. Office-bearers of the civic body dismissed reports that the bridge, which is integral to the city's identity, was to be demolished. The civic body would in fact take whatever measures were needed to keep the bridge intact, the officials said.
Officials of both the elected and executive wings of the AMC said there is no plan to demolish Ellisbridge. "The bridge is of heritage value and there is no proposal to demolish it," said Asit Vora, mayor of Ahmedabad. The bridge is now officially called Swami Vivekanand bridge.
Chairman of AMC's standing committee, Bhupendra Patel, also said that money would be no consideration when it came to strengthening a bridge which is part of the city's identity. "We will take whatever measures are needed to retain it," he said.
Municipal commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra said the report of Dar Consultant on Ellisbridge had come a long time back and that the matter was no more under active consideration. The civic body had hired Dar Consultant for evaluation of various options regarding the bridge.
"Demolition of the bridge was just one of the options suggested by the consultant," said Mohapatra. Talking about the cost of conserving the bridge, Mohapatra said that conservation of any heritage monument is going to be a costly affair. He also said that the controversy over Surat's Hope Bridge had also started during his tenure as municipal commissioner of Surat.
"Restoration of Hope Bridge would have cost several times more than building a new bridge. Moreover, it was not safe for pedestrian either," said Mohapatra.
The AMC was thinking of plying BRTS buses on the old Ellisbridge. However, as it cannot take the load of buses, the proposal had been shelved for now, the municipal commissioner said.