Redevelopment of Ghanta Ghar Market, Meerut

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Redevelopment of Ghanta Ghar Market, Meerut

1Ruchi 1Associate Professor,

School of Architecture, Galgotias University, Yamuna express way plot no.-17A, Greater Noida, India

Abstract As we approach 2021, the entire idea of Urbanization threatens the Indian Street Culture and lifestyle, particularly in villages and small towns. The established advantages of development as well as economic growth are offered by urbanization in India, but it also poses environmental and social challenges. The first section of the paper consists of the numerous studies, analysis and surveys carried out from the users point of view to describe the site. I proposed the conceptual ideas and policies in the later part of the paper that should be introduced to revive the historic social profile of Ghanta Ghar Market, Meerut.

Keywords Market, Street, Urban issues, Urban fabric, Street Market. Meerut.


    The pace of Urbanization in India has been effectual over the last few decades. Urbanization has been described as a consequence of population shift from less utilitarian areas to high utilitarian areas. The process of urbanization is directly proportional to other trends e.g. modernization, industrialization, technological advancement, infrastructure, sociological transformations, economy, planning policies and public health etc. Urbanization impacts climate, Land use pattern and transportation on a larger scale, however the debates of decades are yet to summarize the pros and cons of it. Urbanization is not just a modern threshold, but it is a phenomenon of transferring and redefining the social, cultural and historical roots of human on a global scale, whereas the rural culture is the most effected aspect influenced by urban culture, the sustainable growth of urban cities is only possible when the planner would start working on synchronized policies for both the rural and urban transformations. In India many rural habitants migrate for employment and better lifestyle but the glint of urbanization fades on factual ground where a city fails to provide even the basic necessities to a human e.g., food, shelter, education and employment.

    Figure 1- Existing site model

    The respective stretch is 1.5 km long and is covering the most dense and congested area of the city. Here, the whole area is actually serving the purpose of mix land use in which there is the main market area on the roads. If we talk radially for 1.5km, then it is having numerous unplanned residential blocks having poor geometrics and many other problems. Main bus terminal of the city that is Bhainsali bus terminal also lies in the radius, thereafter making the traffic movement more and more poor as no such measures have been taken till date for the people living there.

    In todays era, urbanization is considered as an important factor for determining the overall development of any country. Urban design

    in India is transforming the peoples lives and providing more and more opportunities to them for the betterment of the whole country. If we talk about the current trend in India with respect to urban design, it has some drawbacks too. We always fail to understand that providing more and more opportunities is just one factor which contributes in the development of the area. Most of the urban redevelopment projects in India are just focusing on the physical infrastructure, aesthetics, typical solutions for the area without studying about the historic context, evolution of the space along with time, social culture or lifestyle of the people living there; which as a result is destroying the culture as a whole.

    If we could incorporate the evolution of space in our urban design projects, it would have been so much connected to the people living there. Providing typical solutions without studying these factors would just ruin the overall functioning of area. Case study of bhindi bazar, Mumbai has been done to support my above statements in the paper. When we talk about Urban redevelopment or design of a dense market, there always comes a point of vendors and hawkers doing encroachment on those streets in one or the other ways. We

    always fail to understand the main reason behind this issue, and criticize that weaker section of the society. We can provide more and more opportunities to these weaker sections of the society, which would not only increase the footfall in the area, but will also generate more economy from the respective site.

    These are some real issues with which we should deal with before considering the physical issues, which I actually consider the secondary issues and can be solved if we solve those social or the environmental issues faced by the people living there. To fulfil the respective aim of the revival of the historic chaupal in Ghanta Ghar Market, Meerut, various objectives have been followed. I have analysed the various social and physical issues faced by the people living there through studies, surveys and questionnaires. Surveys of 30 people have been done along with various questioners to reach any conclusion. After those various analysis of site and issues associated with the site, study of the urban elements has been done through mapping and various charts in which land usage, street and transportation, social amenities and public spaces, landscaping have been studied which helped me to reach the list of inferences for every respective urban element of the site. Other minor or secondary issues like illegal constructions, stretch encroachments, infrastructure issues are also been identified which gave me the strong reason to provide different proposals or policies for the same.

    This research paper contributes to economic development and humanthought and can be used as a starting point for potentia l proposals forurban redevelopment where communities are so heavily populated.


    A. Redevelopment of bhendi bazar, Mumbai

    Figure 2- Bhindi Bazar existing and proposed views

    1. Bazaar Overview

      Bhindi Bazaar is a market in South Mumbai. I occupied an area between Mohammed Ali Road and Khet wadi. The bazaar is popular for shopping namely antique items, hardware items etc. Bhindi Bazaar is primarily a Muslim- populated area while Shop- owners and hawkers in this market belong to different religious groups. The area also houses Raudat Tahera, the mausoleum of the 51st and 52nd Dai-al-Mutlaq. The area is set to be redeveloped with the project being undertaken by Saifee Burhani upliftment Trust. It is of 16.5 acres which is divided in to 280 plots. It has more than 3500 residential tenants and 1250 shops.

    2. Highlights of the Redevelopment

      Its construction started in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2025.Demolition and Construction is taking

      place in 9 phases. The highly-dense market place will be the first cluster redevelopment project in the city. Some 100-150 chauls will be replaced by 17 high story residential buildings. Residents will get 350 sq ft of usable area in the new project, while commercial establishments will be given same existing area.

    3. Conclusions

    Demolishing the whole infrastructure and thereafter building the high-rise residential towers for the residents living there is the easiest and the most common solution one can do but it will destroy the whole culture and will also change the lifestyle of the people living there. We could do something different by following the same concepts of forming respective blocks and could design something which followed the concept of chowls. 35 sq. m for a family after redevelopment and leaving 1200 residntial units for covering up the project cost is not a good idea in my perspective. The project is funded by a trust and they could focus on the different ways of economy generation from a 125 years old market.


    1. Depletion of social culture and history

      This could be considered as the major issue in the area as all the physical issues can be solved but if we talk about the social ones, they are needed to be solved immediately. Social culture of the area is being destroyed with the urbanization in the area.

      The whole site has a rich history having many heritage buildings and sites, but if we talk about the maintenance of those sites, those structures are not maintained at all and currently in very poor state and are also losing their importance which they had.

      Figure 3- Historic context degraded with time

    2. Physical issues

      The whole market of ghanta ghar is densely populated with various issues like poor drainage, illegal shops on main market roads, street hawkers, open drainage, on street parking, poor geometrics and heavy pedestrian movement. Open wires of electricity are not only making it dangerous for the people living there, but also not look good aesthetically as they are poorly maintained and some electric poles are damaged too.

    3. Issues associated with vendors and hawkers

    Vendors and hawkers in the area face many issues with continuous interval of time. They are forced to leave the area in every three to four months which not only brings non uniformity in their business, but also affect the economy generation from the area. Restricting vendors cannot be considered as an ideal solution to solve other issues. We could either propose some other proposals or policies for them which would in fact provide more and more opportunities to this weaker section of the society.

    stretch, we mainly see the growth of mixed used and residential blocks in every area of the site.

    1. Transport

      No segregation between vehicular and pedestrian circulation, leading to congestion zones at several junctions of the central spine. Lack of public parking facilities has led to the growth of encroachment zones utilized for parking of private vehicles. If we talk about the transport system or the street geometrics of the whole area, the area is unplanned and people developed the whole site according to their needs. It is not like, that major adjacent streets or roads are small or narrow, but due to the encroached parking in the whole site area, it results in congestion most of the times in the market. As mentioned earlier, the area is the densest area of the whole Meerut district which contain hundreds of villages and many small towns and also the main Meerut city. Due to the bad transport system, it faces many accidents on the weekly basis.

      1. Survey

        Figure 4- Stationary Hawkers

        Figure 3- Survey (How is traffic system)

        G. Social spaces and public amenities

        Lack of public toilets in the area and poor maintenance of the existing toilets have led to poor hygiene and improper sanitation services in the area. Lack of public seating or shaded walkways and this may result in lack of social interaction between the pedestrians and the people living there. Lack of proper waste management in the area way lead to open dump yards and littering along the streets, in my view, the high amount of footfall and vendors can actually contribute to a large amount of organic and inorganic waste which are stacked in the corner of the street/road which would cause blockage and foul odour. If we study about the area more, we find that electric wiring is not regulated as per norms and this may result in entanglement and the potential risk of fire related hazards for the people living or visiting in the area.

        Figure 4- Survey (issues while doing business)

      2. Land use pattern

    The central spine(stretch) is the major axis in the area and is thus majorly utilized by the commercial blocks and mixed used blocks for both visual and physical connectivity. The commercial spaces are majorly concentrated along the major roads and organically grows into the area and thereafter entangles with the mixed used and residential blocks in the whole area. If we see the narrow streets adjacent to the

    1. Landscape

      If we talk about the whole site by taking the approximate radius of 1 km, we can easily conclude that the respective site including the context has no such landscaping done within 1km of radius. If we compare the existing site with the site before 50 years, major deforestation has been done in the whole radius and congestion has been increased to a major level which also includes unauthorized encroachments and illegal market spaces. Almost 85% of the area is hardscaped when we take the radius of 1km from ghanta ghar building. If we see the landscape pattern of the existing site, there is not even one single space which could be used by the people for social gathering.


      1. Chaupal Bazaar

        I want to propose a single place that could solve multiple issues of the respective site. If we study about the markets in India, there is so much difference in Indian markets and the markets of other countries. No matter how much we adapt western culture and their things, but it could not solve our lot

        of problems and there could be many reasons behind it like difference in values, lifestyle, history, thinking and many others.

        As discussed earlier, to cater the vendors and for their betterment, to bring the old feeling of Chaupal Interaction back, to bring people together and there after solving another secondary issue with it, I am proposing this design of a market and social space.

        I brought two major issues that were – vendors facing many issues due to encroachments along with local people and lack of public spaces or I would say that I have taken the concept of village chaupal system to create or propose this space in which local vendors or weaker section of society would sense a feeling of security and there could also be social gatherings and interaction that used to be there before 50 to 60 years would provide a feeling of connection between the local communities which was getting endangered by the urbanisation of these places.

        By taking the history of the place and the todays problems faced by the local people, I propose a Chaupal bazaar on the mentioned site.

        Figure 5 Chaupal Bazaar Render Image(Proposed)

        Figure 6 Chaupal Bazaar Render Image(Proposed)

      2. Stretch design

        After solving the major issues, by taking the historic references of the place, all the secondary issues could be solved easily by proposing other things on the stretch. As the vendors would be re placed from the street to the town hall market plaza, it would thereafter help us to solve other issues like narrow street, encroachments, improper pedestrian pathways and many other. Incorporation of shades would

        provide the sense of comfort to the pedestrians. If we talk about the movement pattern of a particular place, it first of all differs according to the context, history and culture of the place. We cannot provide same design for different roads or streets of same width and footfall of different places. Therefore, after studying the movement of the traffic, pedestrian, and the connection of both of them with the built environment, there comes a need to provide a sense of safety to the pedestrian walking on the street. Therefore, a footpath along with the shade cover(temporary) is been proposed on the street after widening it 3.25 m from each side. The speciality of this stretch is that, four wheelers move rarely on it and it is particularly for the pedestrian, rikshaws, and other two-wheeler vehicles.

        Figure 7 Street section(Proposed)

      3. Policy implementation

    Figure 8 Typical Street Section

    For the narrow streets of the area, I propose few policies which should be implemented. There are many building blocks in the street which are not following the MDA rules and regulations. For example, MDA says that no building block should be higher than G plus 2,but there are many unauthorized constructions happening there as people are making particularly one block extra in the streets, for various purposes like rent, commercial, etc. So, those unauthorised constructed floors should be demolished and should be made according to the MDA norms, so that the streets will not feel suffocated or congested.


    Social issues are always the major issues in an area and those are the issues that forces people to change their culture or lifestyle along with time, which I think is not at all a good thing. The issues that seem minor are sometimes the major ones and needed to be solved with keeping the historic and the present context of the area in mind. If we would be able to solve those issues, then other physical issues which I consider secondary, gets solved with time. Keeping all this in mind, I proposed these respective design proposals for the area, which would not only act as an aid for the lost culture, but also gives more and more opportunities to the weaker section of the society living there.


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