Three Years in a Saline Bowl.
- April 18, 2016
It was dry as bone and hot.
About a 30 minute drive from town was a 250 acre piece of land near Bavla, which is NW of Ahmedabad.
The soil was saline; but what was really worrying was the water.
This is the land where ancient sea beds were meant to be; its barely 50 kms from the ancient river linked port of the Indus Valley port city of Lothal.
The water is saline; the TDS close to 20000 ppm; which those who know , know how bad that is ( Sea water is around 30000 ppm); and to make matters worse, the water was close to the surface which meant that roots of any plants that came in contact with that salinity would be affected adversely.
Add to it; the site was a bowl- it received and held the rain water of a much larger catchment till it slowly drained in a nearby canal. It would be flooded for months after the rain, its thick clayey soil not allowing any percolation.
Not the best set of situations to try and do a high quality second home destination.
For three years, and intermittent flooding of the site, all of us toiled.
A very energized and proactive site team with a passionate owner made work seem far simpler than it was.
Much research was done on plant material; on local flora; on saline resistant flora.
Many studies were carried out on draining the site without fully filling it; and slowly a system of lakes was developed that held the water in the monsoon, allowing slow drainage without damaging the site; recharged the ground, and at the same time became irrigation sumps, and islands of bio diversity.
This is how the site looked when we first went there.
Yesterday we went there for a soft opening launch and had brunch in a wonderful dining pavilion overlooking a Gary Player golf course.
This is how it looks now:
It was a satisfying morning.
Masterplanning/Landscape Design/Infra coordination- M/s.Prabhakar B. Bhagwat
Golf Course Design; Gary Player
Villas by Sandeep Khosla and Sanjeev Punjabi.
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