Two more villages of Vadodara — Sevasi and Vemali — joined the protest against inclusion of areas in the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) limits on Sunday morning.
Seven villages of Vadodara — Bhayli, Vemali, Sevasi, Bil, Karodiya, Undera and Vadadla were added to the VMC limits on June 18 through a notification of the state Urban Development and Urban Housing Department, adding a population of almost 2 lakh and 40 sq km land.
The notification implies that the panchayats in the villages will stand dissolved. The protest comes a day after similar demonstrations were held in four other villages — Karodia, Undera, Bil and Bhayli. Sevasi also held a bandh on June 21 to register its protest.
Villagers in large numbers took to the streets on Sunday morning, burned effigies, banged utensils and raised slogans against the Vadodara Municipal Corporation, demanding to reverse the government order of the inclusion of the villages citing violation of provisions of the Provincial Municipal Corpor-ation Act and the VMC’s financial crisis as reasons.
Sarpanch of Sevasi Harsha Patel said, “For years we have had all facilities, including water and electricity, in our village. All government schemes have been implemented well. No resident is facing any kind of issue under the gram panchayat and we completely oppose the inclusion. This is a one-sided decision and we do not give our consent. The inclusion can increase tax burden but it will not be used for our development. We do not want our villages to get urbanised.”
In April, a petition was filed seeking a stay against the government proposal to include the villages in VMC. The petition was scheduled for hearing on Jun 26. However, after the government notification on June 18, the villagers submitted an amended petition seeking to quash the government notification.
“Now that they (state government) have issued the notification, we have filed an amendment to the original petition that was accepted by the High Court. The revised petition seeks to quash the government notification. The government is expected to submit an answer to the petition by July 9,” said one of the petitioners, Jay Bhatt, sarpanch of Bil village.
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