Residents of 12 villages in Surgana taluka of Maharashtra along the border with Gujarat have handed a memorandum to Vansda mamlatdar of Navsari district on Tuesday, demanding that their villages be merged with Gujarat state, claiming that after 75 years of impendence, the villages are left behind in development.
Proposing the merger, the villagers had formed Sugarna Sima Sangharsh Samithi, whose representatives held a meeting with Nashik District Collector Gangatharan D and Maharashtra minister Dadaji Bhuse. The representatives put forward their demands on roads, electricity, water, education and other things.
In the memorandum, leaders of the Samithi mentioned that Gujarat state was formed on May 1, 1961, from Maharashtra. After partition, many villages of Sugarna taluka got merged with Dang district, while others were left behind. “In 60 years, the villages merged with Gujarat developed, while our villages were left behind,” they said, requesting the Gujarat government to get their villages merged with the state.
Talking to The Indian Express, Samithi president Chintaman Gavit said, “The total population of these 12 villages is over two lakh as per government records and majority of the villagers are tribals who depend on farming during monsoon. There is no water facility, colleges, employment, good roads, bus depot or health care facilities here.”
Adding that tourism can be developed in the villages on the hills, Gavit added, “People have to depend on Dang and Navsari during medical emergencies. We want all the facilities that tribals in Gujarat get… Through the memorandum, we have requested the Gujarat government to merge these 12 villages.”
After the meeting, Gavit said that the Maharashtra authorities have given them an assurance and that they would wait for a few days before launching an agitation.