The Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad Company Ltd (MEGA) — that is building the Ahmedabad Metro — completed the biggest resettlement of Project-Affected-Families (PAFs) at a single location wherein 104 families displaced by the first phase of the project at Apparel Park were given alternate residences before Diwali.
According to the social impact assessment (SIA) study prepared for MEGA by RITES Ltd — a Government of India enterprise — an estimated 1047 families will be affected in the land acquisition process for the project. “The biggest resettlement for the first phase was at Apparel Park, where we are also building a depot. Here we have provided alternate housing to at Chamanpura and Naroda localities. The beneficiaries are non-title holders and were basically squatters or encroachers,” said Amit Gupta, General Manager (Mechanical) of MEGA who is also heading the Resettlement and Rehabilitation process.
The alternate housing that has been provided are EWS houses that MEGA has bought from the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). Each housing unit costs about Rs four lakh and has a super-built-up area of 50 square meters (about 540 square feet). “We have reserved 750 EWS houses that have been built under Mukhamatri Awas Yojana and Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana and are paying AMC Rs 30 crore for them,” Gupta added.
This is only the second allocation of houses carried out by MEGA. The first batch of EWS houses at Naroda were given to 43 families staying at Gyaspur where a second depot for the metrorail project is being built. “These houses have been allotted after a stringent verification process. We are currently examining the documents of 200 more families and different locations,” said the Indian Railway official who is currently on a deputation to MEGA, a 50:50 joint venture company of the Government of India and Government of Gujarat.
The company will be spending over Rs 150 crore on the resettlement and rehabilitation process. “Those who are title-holders and will lose houses because of the project will be offered compensation as per the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act,” Gupta added.
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According to the social impact assessment study, of the total 1047 PAFs, 499 are titleholders (438 owners and 19 lease holders) and 548 are non-title holders (402 squatters, 88 tenants, 56 kiosks and two encroachers). The SIA also shows that majority of the project affected families or PAFs (about 783) reside on the East-West corridor of the proposed metro route, stretching from Thaltej to Vastral Gam, while 264 PAFs live on the North South Corridor (APMC to Motera). The SIA also show that of the 1047 PAFs, 64 percent of them belong to either the OBC, Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes and the average family income of PAFs is little over Rs 9900 per month.