The Bhadra Plaza development has always run into some hurdle or the other. Though the civic body has grand plans to restore Premabhai Hall — one of the oldest halls in the area — to its glory, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has been facing problems in acquiring the place. Because the trustees of the hall have refused to sell the property, claiming that the AMC would be paying them just peanuts in return.
Even after several rounds of meetings between the trustees and the civic body, there seems to be no way out of the impasse. While AMC wants to buy the property for Rs10 crore from Gujarat Vidyasabha, the trust which owns the hall, the latter has been demanding much higher.
“We have no objections to the AMC purchasing the property for constructive purpose. But, we just don’t want to sell it at such a low price. The property, worth Rs30 crore, is right in the heart of the city. We cannot sell it off for Rs10 crore,” said Subhash Brahmbhatt, a member of the trust. The huge chunk of land, measuring 3,200 sq yard, used to be a centre of cultural excellence once that also promoted vernacular language.
Another controversy is over 50% land of the hall, which has been given on a 99-year-lease to the trust by AMC. “Out of the 3,200 sq yard plot, 1,626 sq yard is owned by the trust, while the rest has been acquired on a lease for 99 years that would expire in 2029,” said Brahmbhatt.