To 8th January 2018.
The Municipal Commissioner,
Surat Municipal Corporation,
Dear Shri _________________________________________
Wishing you and your family a very happy 2018.
I am writing this letter after thinking about it for a while whether it is prudent to write about the corrupt practices in Surat Municipal Corporation not pertaining to your period of posting. However, it gave me confidence and conviction, after having interacted with you on various issues, that you are the right person to write to, to get the desired results on these pressing issues.
Sir, as you are aware of the recent fire incidents in Mumbai (Kamala Mills) in which 14 innocent lives were lost for no fault of theirs. That incident has brought to the fore, the corrupt practices of municipal authorities in Mumbai at the same time highlighting the need to stop occurrence of such calamity in Surat.
I have been living insurat for more than 30 years and have witnessed unparalleled growth of the city both geographically and wealth wise. Surat has been home to both Textile and diamond industries that have contributed immensely to the growth of the city. Surat has grown exponentially in the last 3 decades and has been home to almost 6 million people.
Sir, Surat Municipal Corporation has been regulating the civil construction and planning the city. It is also involved in regulating the construction of Textile Markets and industries in the city. As we all know that the city is home to almost 150 big/small textile markets and thousands of textile shops. In recent years, growth of commercial activity and construction of textile markets in the city area as well on the ring road has been stupendous.
The textile market area on the ring road and near Sarthana are over crowded. More than a million people throng these areas for their business and livelihood everyday. These textile markets are so over crowded that during business hours it becomes humanly impossible to vade through these markets as they are thickly populated and roads being very narrow. In the given circumstances it is imperative that the Surat Municipal Corporation has to be careful and vigilant in allowing the illegal construction of shops in this area. But the sorry state of affairs by the concerned municipal authorities who don’t bother and refuse to act in regulating the illegal constructions are waiting for a calamity of the great magnitude and scale to occur to open their eyes. Lack of civic amenities like sufficient urinals, garbage collection and drainage facilities, the textile market areas appears like ghetto waiting for a major disaster.
Now, coming to the main issue of corrupt practices by the municipal authorities in connivance withwith greedy and corrupt builders/developers who have contributed to this civic mess completely. The unholy alliance of corrupt municipal authorities(zonal incharges, Officers of respective zones), urban development wing of SMC(plan approval and monitoring section) have aligned themselves with corrupt and greedy builders to construct thousands of shops unauthorizedly in various textile markets. These unauthorised constructions have put thousands of lives in jeopardy on daily basis. Its like sitting on a volcano and waiting for an incident to cause humungous loss of lives and property.
I have discussed this security and safety issue of textile markets with various authorities both orally and in writing on various occasions but of no avail. If this issue is not attended to immediately it would be the responsibility of SMC, in case of any major disaster or calamity that will cause huge loss of lives. It is incumbent upon you to take necessary precautions and steps to ensure the safety and security of the citizens. The major markets that have constructed thousands of shops illegally in the guise of Impact Fee regulations have committed a major fraud on the SMC with the connivance of the authorities of aforesaid departments. Some of the instances which require immediate attention are.
- Radha Krishna Textile Market (RKTM)
- New Textile Market(NTM)
- Millenium Textile Market
- Raghukul Textile Market
- Ambaji Textile Market
- Padmavati Textile Market
- HariOm Textile Market
- TT textile Market
- Adarsh Market
- Shree Kuberji Textile Park
- Shiv Shakti Textile Market
- Mahalaxmi Textile Market
- New Shree Ram Market
- Rohit AC Market
- Annapurna Market
- Silk city Textile Market
- New TT market
- Padmavati Textile Market
- Kohinoor Textile Market.
- Kamla Textile Market
The above mentioned markets have violated the building norms, misused the impact fee conditions and have built more shops than the approved plan, more than permitted even in the regularisation scheme, at the cost of parking, basic amenities like urinals, bathrooms and other civic requirements, as required by law and lack minimum safety norms. Surat Municipal Corporation needs to conduct immediate audit/ survey of these markets and take immediate measures to tackle the menace of illegal construction and violation of safety norms. Each market is like a tinder box that may explode anytime if proper steps are not taken immediately.
This letter is in hope that atleast this time the Surat Municipal Corporation will wake up and take necessary steps to ensure the safety and convenience of citizens.
VICE-PRESIDENT, BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY