Over 10, 000 farmers from five talukas of Surat took out a massive rally here on Monday demanding the revocation of the proposed development plan-2035 notification of the Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA) to merge 104 villages with it. The rally was held under the banner of Gujarat Khedut Samaj (GKS) and members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) also participated in the rally.
Farmers of 104 villages from Kamrej, Palsana, Olpad, Choryasi and Mangrol talukas commenced their vehicle rally from Pal Ginning mill compound at Jehangirpura. After passing through Rander, Adajan and main thoroughfares of the city it converged at Chowk Bazaar. The rally was headed by Surat District Panchayat member Darshan Naik and South Gujarat president of Gujarat Khedut Samaj Jayesh Patel who garlanded the Mahatma Gandhi statute at Chowk Bazaar.
The vehicle rally of 500 motor bikes, 400 cars, 250 tractors. PAAS Surat co-convener Dharmik Malaviya and hundreds of Patidar youths also joined the rally from Chowk Bazaar which ended at Athwagate near SUDA office. While the farmers wore white caps with slogans “SUDA Hatao, Gamda Bachavo (Remove SUDA, Save Villages),” PAAS members wore yellow caps with ‘Jay Patidar, Jay Sardar’.
The representatives of the farmers led by Jayesh Patel, Darshan Naik and others handed over a memorandum to SUDA chief officer JB Patel urging to denotification of its merger plan.
In the memorandum, the farmers had mentioned that they were against inclusion of their villages in SUDA. They also urged the state government to withdraw the notification to include 104 villages in SUDA and also the proposed development plan -2035. They also issued a 15-day ultimatum to the state government to issue the denotification.
Darshan Naik, Surat District Panchayat member said, “Majority of the farmers from these villages are producing sugarcane and paddy, and they supply sugarcane to sugar cooperative factories in this area. This will render many farm labourers jobless. Over 40 percent fertile lands of the farmers will be acquired for development works resulting in great loss to them. The displaced farmers will face water and other problems in their new lands.”
Gujarat Khedut Samaj South Gujarat president Jayesh Patel said, “We have seen the pitiable conditions of those 95 villages which were merged with SUDA in 1978. Still they lack all the basic facilities like drainage, water, electricity, roads etc. Aggrieved by this, we have given a 15-day time to the state government to issue denotification on addition of 104 villages with SUDA.”