GMRC to Start Rehabilitation & Resettlement Process to Acquire Land for Surat Metro

The Gujrat Metro Rail Corporation will soon start the resettlement and rehabilitation work to acquire land for Rs. 12,020-crore Surat Metro rail project. The total cost of Rehabilitation & Resettlement (R&R) is estimated to be Rs. 200 crore, official sources said.

“The work was expected to begin around March, but got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We will soon be beginning the R&R work which will involve 700 families whose properties will be acquired soon,” a senior official of Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC) said.

The GMRC has floated tenders for over Rs. 2,000 crore for building two metro corridors, as part of Phase-1 of Surat metro which will have a total length of 40.35 kilometers. The first corridor that will link Sarthana to Dream City will have a total length of 21.61 kilometers of which 6.47 kilometers will be underground. The second corridor from Bhesan to Saroli will be fully elevated corridor of 18.74 kilometers.

According to the earlier plan for Surat metro, all compensation and other assistance will be paid to the 3000-odd people affected by the project before beginning the civil work. Of the 700 affected households, 120 families will lose their residences, while 580 families will lose their livelihoods. Among the commercial structures, 48 shops at the Shyam Sanghini Textile market will be demolished.

A total of 5,43,043 square meters needs to be acquired for the metro project, of which 16,500 square meters is private land.

Of the private land, some of which is located in densely populated areas of Surat city, 10,351 square meters lies of land on the second corridor between Bhesan and Saroli, while 6,215 square meters of private land is on the first corridor between Sarthana and Dream City.

Of the total households affected by the project, 111 households have been categorised as “vulnerable households” which includes 15 households which are headed by women, 16 households that are below poverty line, 19 households with disabled members or elderly persons and 61 households belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Of the structures that will be affected by the project, 23 per cent are residential, 49.5 per cent are commercial, 6.5 per cent are residential-cum-commercial and the rest are structures like schools, public toilets, bus stops and religious structures.

The acquisition for titleholders will take place as per Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

While, Kapodara, Labheshwar Chowk, Central warehouse, Surat railway station, Maskati hospital, chowk bazaar are the six underground stations on corridor one, both Labheshwar Chowk and Maskati hospital stations will have two platforms (for UP line and for Down Line) decked on each other, thus reducing the width of the station box. The stacking up of platforms, one above the other will help save a number of existing structures being acquired on this busy and congested stretch between Labheshwar Chowk and Maskati hospital, said officials.

Secondly, to minimise land acquisitions, the metro alignment is along the centre of roads with single pier supporting the viaduct. This also allows existing roads to remain in use.

Private lands at the nature park, Kalakunj Swaminarayan mandir, Palanpur road, Performing Art Centre, adajan gam, saroli stations will be among those acquired. The private land will be largely meant for will building stations, ramps and running sections. The government land will largely be used for depots, parking, operations and control centre, staff quarters, among others.

While GMRC is expected to construct commercial units for those who are economically displaced, Surat Municipal Corporation has drawn up probable sites for relocation of those families who will lose their residences.

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