The Surat Development Plan 2035, which is being prepared by the Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA), has seen a lot of back and forth between SUDA and the Central government. So far, there have been three protests by residents of the villages that are likely to be impacted by the Development Plan. In 2015, 104 villages of Olpad, Choryasi, Kamrej, Palsana and Mangrol tehsils were brought under the jurisdiction of SUDA. But in 2016, 56 of these villages were removed from the draft of the Development Plan. In January 2019, the inclusion of 22 villages each in Olpad and Kamrej tehsils and two villages in Palsana tehsil in Surat, from among the 56 villages that were removed, was mandated for the construction of the 120ft ring road project proposed by the Central Government. After the re-inclusion was announced, around 150 farmers from 10 of the affected villages in Olpad and Kamrej voiced their protest in Sandhiyer village. They alleged that the government went about excluding and including villages in the Development Plan without any consultation. They also claimed that the land in question is agricultural land and that there have been devastating effects in the past when the land was brought under SUDA in 1978 for developmental purpose. According to Gujarat Khedut Samaj, a farmers body based in Ahmedabad, soil fertility and groundwater table suffered in the neighbouring areas, and animal husbandry and local livelihoods, such as dairy farming, took a hit. The villages did not see any infrastructural development and still lack basic facilities, such as drainage and continuous water and electricity supply. The objective of the Surat Development Plan is to regulate and guide urban growth in the development authority area in a planned manner. SUDA plans to build industrial corridors and townships on the land. The total cost estimate for the enire plan until 2035 is 30,293 crore.
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Surat Municipal Corporation , Ministry of Road and Transport, Gujarat government, Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA)
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Land Acquisition Laws
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High Court of Gujarat
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