As the construction of the first phase of the Rs 10,700-crore Ahmedabad Metro rail project gets under way, the homes and commercial establishments belonging to 1,047 families in Ahmedabad are expected to be affected. “The proposed Metro project requires land. The acquisition of land for the project shall displace people from their home, livelihood base and business base,” states the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study undertaken by Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad Company Ltd (MEGA), a 50:50 Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of the Government of India and the Government of Gujarat.
The SIA, prepared for MEGA by RITES Ltd (a Government of India enterprise), estimates that 3,597 members of these 1,047 families will be “affected” by the project which involves the acquisition of 89.81 hectares. Of this, 84.65 hectares is government land and 5.16 hectares private. A total of 1,047 properties will be affected, out of which 548 are residential, 351 commercial and 144 residential-cum-commercial. The remaining one is an industrial establishment. About 36 additional structures that are likely to be affected include 11 religious structures.
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The SIA shows that majority of the Project-Affected Families (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-Motera).
On the east-west corridor, the highest number of PAFs reside at Apparel Park (248 properties), Rabari Colony (123) and Vastral (100). These three metro stations fall in the six-kilometre route for which work has already begun. Meanwhile, on the north-south corridor, the highest number of PAFs are at Gyaspur Depot (56), Ranip (56) and Motera stadium (45). The SIA shows that of the 1,047 PAFs, 64 per cent belong to either Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes or the OBC. The average family income of PAFs is little over Rs 9,900 per month and the expenditure is about Rs 8,200. About 33 per cent of the total PAFs had monthly income that were less than Rs 5,000, while only nine percent earn more than Rs 20,000.
OVER RS-60 CR PLAN
The SIA also suggests a Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) plan which is expected to cost over Rs 60 crore to MEGA. The packages includes rehabilitation of residential PAFs at six locations, including Chandkheda, Vastral, Bodakdev, Thaltej, Vivekanand Mill and Nutan Mill. PAFs (legal titleholders) losing residential units shall be offered tenements of 50 square metre built-up-area at residential building or cash in lieu of house if opted and non-titleholder PAFs losing residential units shall be offered tenements of 36.5 square metres built-up-area by the AMC. MEGA will be responsible for rehabilitating persons losing commercial units.
“The success of the project depends on the success of the resettlement and rehabilitation. We have drafted the R&R policy which confirms to the Central Government and state government guidelines and is as per the requirements of Japan Internati-onal Cooperation Agency (JICA). We’ll ensure minimum people are displaced,” said IP Gautam, managing director of MEGA, which has sought Rs 5,900 crore as loan from JICA to fund the first phase of the project.
According to the official, most of the land required is for constructing Metro stations and other utilities. Interestingly, the 1,047 PAFs do not include those living in Thaltej area on the east-west corridor where a number of residential and commercial structures are expected to be affected by the project. “The issue at Thaltej is about widening an existing road. It will be taken care of by AMC,” Gautam added.