HOW DID IT COME TO THIS

GENTRIFICATION

1870  /   TO   /   CURRENT

By the time John and Kinnari moved into Jethabhai ni pol in 1995, few of the original inhabitants remained. Many of the old houses had been crudely partitioned for renting, many houses were used as godowns or simply destroyed to make way for apartment buildings or whole sale shops.

Gandhi Road, which was planned during the founding of the city in 1411, runs all along the east-west axis of the Old City.

 

Between Jethabhai ni pol and Gandhi road is another neighbourhood called Khatri ni pol. The price of land is highest along the main road, after the builders finish purchasing properties along Gandhi Road they start to creep more and more into the interior of the cluster.

John and Kinnari noted this in 1997 and John did a photo survey showing the encroachment of commercial shops into the residential areas. They presented this to the building department in 2000 but to their surprise; instead of building inspectors, four thugs with knives showed up and threatened them and their livelihood for doing the photo presentation. 

It was at this point that John decided to start purchasing properties in key locations to stop the incursion. This worked to an extent and commercial activities were stopped from entering their polHowever, with no conservation laws to back their efforts, houses in Jethabhai ni pol did get demolished to make way for new apartments and old houses continue to be used as godowns even today.