|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2014)|
|• Body||Surat Municipal Corporation & SUDA|
|• Mayor||Niranjan Zanzmera|
|• Municipal Commissioner||Milind Torawane[From Jul-2014], Manoj Kumar Das[till Jul-2014],|
|• Police Commissioner||Rakesh Asthana|
|• Metropolis||326.515 km2 (126.068 sq mi)|
|Elevation||13 m (43 ft)|
|• Density||14,000/km2 (35,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Pincode(s)||395 0XX & 394 XXX|
|Vehicle registration||GJ-05 & GJ-28|
|Coastline||35 kilometres (22 mi)|
Surat, previously known as Suryapur, is a city in the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is also called the "city of flyovers". It is the administrative capital of the Surat district. The city is located 306 km south of the state capital, Gandhinagar, on the left bank of the Tapti River (Tapi), the center being around 22 km (14 mi) from the river's mouth.
Surat is Gujarat's second-largest city with a population of 4.6 million at the 2011 census. It is the eighth largest city and ninth largest metropolitan area of India. Surat is the 34th-largest city by area and 4th-fastest developing cities in a in a study conducted by the City Mayors Foundation, an international think tank on urban affairs. The city registered an annualised GDP growth rate of 11.5 per cent over the seven fiscal years between 2001 and 2008. Surat was awarded "best city" by the Annual Survey of India's City-Systems (ASICS) in 2013.
A moat divides the older parts of the city, with their narrow streets and historical houses, from the newer suburbs.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Climate
- 4 Finance and Economy
- 5 Government and politics
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Infrastructure
- 8 Demographics
- 9 Culture and festivals
- 10 Education
- 11 Media
- 12 Public safety
- 13 Places of interest
- 14 Gallery
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Local Hindu traditions state that the city was founded in the last years of the fifteenth century by a Brahman named Gopi, who called it Suryapūr (City of the Sun).
Gujarati Poet Narmad was also born in Surat.
In 1512 and again in 1530 Surat was ravaged by the Portuguese Empire. In 1513, the Portuguese traveller Duarte Barbosa described Surat as an important seaport, frequented by many ships from Malabar and various parts of the world. By 1520, the name of the city was Surat.
When the harbour in Cambay began to silt up toward the end of fifteenth century, Surat eclipsed Cambay as the major port of western India. At the end of the 16th century, the Portuguese were undisputed masters of the Surat sea trade. On the banks of the Tapti River, there is still a picturesque fortress that was built in 1540.
In 1608, ships from the English East India Company started docking in Surat, using it as a trade and transit point. In 1615, following the Battle of Swally, Captain Best, followed by Captain Downton, overcame Portuguese naval supremacy and obtained an imperial firman establishing an English factory at Surat. The city was made the seat of a presidency of the East India Company after the success of the embassy God of Wealth.
The prosperity of Surat received a blow when Surat was ceded to the English as part of the dowry for Catherine of Braganza's wedding to Charles II in 1662. Shortly afterwards, in 1668, the East India Company established a factory in Bombay (Mumbai) and Surat began its decline.
By 1687, the English East India Company moved the presidency to Bombay. At its height, Surat's population reached 800,000, but by the middle of the 19th century the number had fallen to 80,000. The British re-took control of Surat in 1759 and assumed all government powers of the city in 1800.
In 1730, Baghdadi Jewish Joseph Semah arrived in Surat from Baghdad and founded the Surat synagogue and cemetery. The synagogue is now demolished but the cemetery can still be found on the Katargam-Amroli main road.
A fire and a flood in 1837 destroyed many of the buildings of Surat. Among the interesting monuments that survived the destruction are the tombs of English and Dutch merchants and their families, dating to the 17th century, including those of the Oxenden brothers.
By the early 20th century, the city's population had climbed to 119,000, and Surat was again a center of trade and manufacturing although some of its former industries, such as shipbuilding, no longer existed. There were cotton mills, factories for ginning and pressing cotton, rice-cleaning mills, and paper mills. Fine cotton goods were woven on hand looms, and there were manufactures of silk brocade and gold embroidery (known as Jari). The chief trades were organised in guilds.
In 1994, a combination of heavy rains and blocked drains led to flooding in the city. Dead street animals and public waste were not removed in time and a plague epidemic spread through the city, which caused a number of countries to impose travel restrictions on people travelling from India, especially those heading to the Persian Gulf. The municipal commissioner during that time, S. R. Rao, and the people of Surat worked hard in the late 1990s to clean up the city.
Surat is a port city situated on the banks of the Tapti river. Damming of the Tapti caused the original port facilities to close; the nearest port is now in the Magadalla and Hazira area of Surat Metropolitan Region. The city is located at . It has an average elevation of 13 meters. The Surat district is surrounded by the Bharuch, Narmada, Navsari, to the west is the Gulf of Cambay and the surrounding districts. The climate is tropical and monsoon rainfall is abundant (about 2,500 mm a year). According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the town falls under seismic zone-III, in a scale of I to V (in order of increasing vulnerability to earthquakes)
Surat has grown in area since the early 1700s. The oldest part of the city developed in the area between the train station and the area known as Athwalines. Since the 1970s most of the new development, including the most desirable location for the city's burgeoning middle and upper class, is the area between Athwalines and the coast at Dumas.
Surat has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen: Aw), moderated strongly by the Sea to the Gulf of Cambay. The summer begins in early March and lasts till June. April and May are the hottest months, the average maximum temperature being 37 °C (99 °F). Monsoon begins in late June and the city receives about 1,200 millimetres (47 in) of rain by the end of September, with the average maximum being 32 °C (90 °F) during those months. October and November see the retreat of the monsoon and a return of high temperatures till late November. Winter starts in December and ends in late February, with average mean temperatures of around 23 °C (73 °F), and negligible rain.
|Climate data for Surat, Gujarat|
|Record high °C (°F)||38.3
|Average high °C (°F)||30.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||23.3
|Average low °C (°F)||14.3
|Record low °C (°F)||4.4
|Precipitation mm (inches)||0
|Avg. rainy days||0||0||0||0||0||6||14||11||7||1||1||0||40|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||9||10||9||10||10||7||4||3||7||9||9||9||8|
|Source #1: Climate-Data.org, Climatebase.ru (humidity), World Climate Guide (rainy days, sunshine), India Meteorological Department (records)|
|Source #2: Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial (1932–1980)|
|25 °C (77 °F)||25 °C (77 °F)||25 °C (77 °F)||27 °C (81 °F)||29 °C (84 °F)||29 °C (84 °F)||29 °C (84 °F)||28 °C (82 °F)||28 °C (82 °F)||29 °C (84 °F)||28 °C (82 °F)||26 °C (79 °F)|
Finance and Economy
Surat ranked 8th in India with a GDP of $40 billion in fiscal year 2011–2012 ($14 billion in 2010). Surat GDP in 2020 will be around $57 billion estimated by The City Mayors Foundation, an international think tank on urban affairs The per capita GDP was $8,000 in 2010. Surat is known for diamonds, textiles, and for diamond-studded gold jewellery manufacturing. Surat registered a GDP of 11.5% for the seven fiscal years 2001–2008, the fastest growing GDP in India. The city accounts for:
- 90% of the world’s total rough diamond cutting and polishing;
- 99.99% of the nation’s total rough diamond cutting and polishing;
- 90% of the nation’s total diamond exports;
- 40% of the nation’s total man made fabric production;
- 28% of the nation’s total man made fibre production;
- 18% of the nation’s total man made fibre export; and
- 12% of the nation’s total fabric production.
Surat is known as a Diamond Hub of the World. Surat is famous for its diamond and textile industries. It is at the heart of the world's diamond-polishing industry, which in 2005 cut 92% of the world's diamond pieces and earned India $15 billion in exports. Gujarati diamond cutters, emigrating from East Africa, established the industry in 1901 and, by the 1970s, Surat-based diamond cutters began exporting stones to the US for the first time.
Since it is known for producing textiles, including silk, Surat is known as the textile hub of the nation or the Silk City of India. It is very famous for its cotton mills too. Surat is the biggest centre of MMF (man-made fibre) in India. It has a total of 381 dyeing and printing mills and 41,100 powerloom units. There are over a lakh units and mills in total. The overall annual turnover is around 5 billion rupees. There are over 800 cloth wholesalers in Surat. It is the largest manufacturer of clothes in India, and Surti dress material can be found in any state of India. Surat produces 9 million metres of fabric annually, which accounts for 60% of the total polyester cloth production in India. Now the city is focusing on increasing the exports of its textile.
Hazira INA, Magadalla, Ichchhapore, Olpad near Surat city are having giant industries like ONGC, GAIL, ABG Shipyard, Narmada Cement, Ambuja Cement,Ultratech Cement,NTPC-KGPP Power Plant, ESSAR roup of Industries(Steel/Power/Chemical/Oil/Shipping), L&T, Reliance PVC, Reliance Petroleum, Kribhco-Feartilizer mammoth, GSPC, Gujarat Gas, Shell, LNG, Naiko Gas, Rama Paper Mill etc. are some of them.
There are many SME Domestic IT Companies present in Surat. MNC IT companies like IBM, TCS, HCL, Wipro are having satellite or virtual Branch in Surat. On 14 February 2014 Govt of Gujarat DST had handover STPI Surat at Bhestan-Jiav Road, Bhestan Near Udhana-Sachin BRTS Route. STPI Surat is good option for SME IT Entrepreneurs of South Gujarat and MNCs to expand business in Surat/South Gujarat at cheaper rate compare to Metros or IT Hubs. Software Technology Park in Surat could grow in near future.
In 2011 Surat hosted India's first Microsoft DreamSpark Yatra (a tech event) with speakers from Microsoft Headquarters at Redmond, USA. The event was organised by Ex-Microsoft Student Partner Samarth Zankharia.
Government and politics
|This section requires expansion. (September 2012)|
The Surat Municipal Corporation is responsible for the maintaining city's civic infrastructure as well as carrying out associated administrative duties. At present, BJP is the ruling party with a majority.
The Surat Municipal Corporation, under the Provisions of Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949, Section – 4, the powers have been vested in three Distinct Statutory Authorities: the General Board, the Standing Committee, and the Municipal Commissioner.
General Board: The General Board is the supreme body of the Corporation constituted by elected members from each wards. Three members are elected from each ward, hence, the 38 wards are represented by a total of 114 councillors. One third of the seats are reserved for women. The term is for a five year duration after which elections are held once again.
Standing Committee: The Standing Committee is one of the twelve statutory committees and is one of the most powerful committees. It has the power to sanction and award major works of cost over Rs. Five lacs. It is also vested with financial powers.
Surat Airport has direct air connectivity with Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata. Airlines companies such as Spicejet Airlines and Air India operate flights from Surat.
Owing to heavy traffic congestion on major highways passing through Surat city, new expressways are planned and will be completed by 2013. Surat Municipal Corporation tries to improve road infrastructure of the city. The major highways passing through Surat are the Udhana-Mumbai Highway also known as Udhana-Navsari Highway, Surat-Ahmedabad Highway also known as Varachha Main Road. Due to rapid urbanisation and to get rid of fatal accidents Surat Municipal Corporation and Surat Urban Development Authority has planned to develop an Outer Ring Road and Middle Ring Road which are under construction to decongest the traffic from the major highways passing through city.
The city has seen the completion of road projects, particularly elevated roads. One of the very few multi-layer flyovers in India is now in Surat over Majura Gate. The Eastern expressway also known as Varachha Flyway is one of India's longest flyovers under city municipal limits in the four lane category. Surat Municipal Corporation has decided to construct one of the biggest structures in the state at a cost Rs 1.90 billion. A multi-level flyover bridge over Tapi river, it would connect Rander-Adajan to Katargam, which lies on the other side of the river.In addition to flyovers Surat is also getting its first cable stayed bridge connecting Adajan to Parle point near Athwalines.
- Local transport
In August 2008, the CNG-fuelled bus service was opened by the city Mayor Dr. Kanubhai Mavani. Frequency of buses is sparse, making shared auto rickshaws a main mode of local travel.
Bus rapid transit system is planned for the city and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. The first route for BRTS starts operating from 26 January 2014 on Udhana-Sachin route with AC buses. In August 2012, plans for an intracity metro train service were approved by Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The plan includes the construction of underground and overground metro trains and monorails.
The twin cities of Surat and Navsari will be connected by metro railway under this project. Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is confident of making the metro rail project a reality in the city by 2017–18.
Surat has a computerised water distribution system and a computerised drainage system with a sewage treatment plant to transform waste into energy. It has one of the best water treatment plants in India. Every part of Surat has underground drainage and street lights. PNG (Pipelined Natural Gas) entered Surat in the early '90s and most of the areas are covered under PNG. CNG entered Surat in the early '90s, and as of the end of 2005 more than 95% of auto rickshaws and public buses run on CNG as an efficient and less polluting fuel. There are several government- and private-run hospitals in Surat to provide medical assistance to citizens and visitors. The authority has stressed eGovernance to bring speed to the overall administration efforts.
|Population Growth of Surat|
According to the 2011 India census, the population of Surat is 4,462,002. Surat has an average literacy rate of 89%, higher than the national average of 79.5%: male literacy is 93%, and female literacy is 84%. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%.
Gujarati, Sindhi, Hindi, Marvadi, Marathi, Telugu, and Oriya are the main languages spoken in Surat. In Surat, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. Surat also has sizeable Parsi and Jewish populations.
Dawoodi Bohra also made Surat (1787AD onward) its Dawat office in the era of 42nd Dai Syedna Yusuf Najmuddin. It continued up to the period of 51st Dai Taher Saifuddin (1915-1965AD), when it was shifted to Mumbai.
Culture and festivals
Surat is known for its cuisine, which includes perennial favourites such as "ghari" (a type of sweet), Locho, petis, undhiyu, rasaawala khaman,Surati Khaman(Spicy),Sarasiya Khaja and surati Chinese. Unlike cuisines in other parts of Gujarat, Surti cuisine is quite spicy. Roadside kiosks, called "laaris" or "rekdis", are quite popular in Surat. Ponk is a roasted cereal that is available only in this part of the world [clarification needed] An old saying in Gujarati, "Surat nu Jaman ane Kashi nu Maran", means "Eat in Surat and Die in Kashi" to have the best for one's soul.
The major Hindu festivals are celebrated in Surat. Navratri, Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated with great enthusiasm. The kite-flying festival of Uttarayan, which falls on Makar Sankranti – 14 or 15 January, or 'Vaasi Uttarayan', celebrated with great enthusiasm by flying kites and shouting 'Kai Po Che' (I have cut) – is very popular in the city. It is also well known for the celebration of Chandi Padvo which usually occurs in October and is a holiday unique to Surat. This day[clarification needed] comes after one of the two biggest full moon days of the Hindu calendar year, Sharad Purnima[clarification needed] , when residents of Surat have 'Ghari' and 'Bhusu' (Surti snacks)[clarification needed] .
Under the 10+2+3 format, students attend primary and secondary schooling during the first ten years and then may complete two years of higher secondary education, followed by three years at college for commerce, arts or science degrees. Generally, engineering degree courses take four years, while medicine takes about five and half years or more.
Most of the colleges are affiliated to Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU) (named after the Great Kavi Veer Narmad). Apart from that colleges are also affiliated to SNDT, GTU-Gujarat Technological University and other universities. VNSGU-Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Uka-Tarsadiya University, SVNIT-Deemed University are having Headquarter in Surat Metropolitan Region. Auro University has also started to provide education in Surat. UTU – Uka Tarsadia University is providing Engineering, Pharmacy, Education, Medical in satellite town Bardoli.
Engineering,IT & Management Institutes
Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SV-NIT) is located in Surat city which is providing high class education in Engineering & Technology & one of the reputed institute in the country.
Dr. S. & S. S. Ghandhy Government Engineering College, Surat (GEC)- Dr. S. & S. S. Ghandhy College of Engineering & Technology Campus(Estd. 1955-Diploma wing), Sarvajanik College of Engineering and Technology (SCET), C K Pithawala College of Engineering and Technology (CKPCET), Bhagwan Mahavir College of Engineering and Technology, Shree Swami Atmanand Saraswati Institute of Technology (SSASIT)., etc. famous Engineering colleges of state which are teaching Diploma, Degree, PG courses in various fields of Engineering. Many other Engineering Diploma/Degree/Post Graduation colleges are present in Surat city.
Along with this Surat Metropolitan Region is also having good number of Degree/Diploma/Post Graduation Engineering colleges, MBA colleges, MCA/MSc(IT/ITC/Computers/Electronics) Colleges, affiliated to GTU-Gujarat Technical University providing quality education.
Surat Metropolitan Region is having more than 80 BCA/BSc(Computer/IT)colleges serving Bachelor level professional education in IT/Computer/Electronics
The city has two medical colleges:
- Government Medical College and New Civil Hospital is a tertiary care center with attached teaching facilities. It is low-fee teaching and low-fee medical service hospital.
- Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education & ResearchSMIMER
The city also has one Ayurvedic college namely Shri O.H.Nazar Ayurvedic College and Hospital, awarding BAMS degree, affiliated to Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India. C. D. Pachchigar Homoeopathic (Homeopathic) Medical College and The Sarvajanik College of Physiotherapy at Rampura offer courses in Homoeopathy and Physiotherapy respectively. Surat has other Physiotherapy & Nursing colleges too.
Al Jamea tus Saifiyah is an Islamic Arabic Academy situated in the heart of Surat city, with a sister campus in the northern foothills of Karachi, Pakistan, Nairobi, Kenya and Marol, Mumbai. It is a leading theological University for Dawoodi Bohras. It was founded in 1814 by the 43rd Dai Syedna Abdeali Saifuddin [R.A]. In 1920, Dawoodi Bohra's 51st Dai the late Dr Syedna Taher Saifuddin transformed this institution into a university that also promoted education for Bohra girls. His son,52nd Dai Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin has expanded it with the state-of-the-art facilities including International Baccalaureate Office (IBO) which has acceptance worldwide.
The IDI-Indian Diamond Institute was established in 1978. It is the most coveted institute in the field of diamonds, gems and jewellery in India and is a state-of-art school of learning. The IDI is ISO 9001:2008 certified for Design Development and provision of Training, Consultancy and Certification services related to diamonds, coloured stones and jewellery.
A Parsi Theatre Academy is being opened in the Muglisara area of Surat, by Yezdi Karanjia, who has a long experience in staging Parsi plays. It is hoped that it will generate some interest among schoolgoers, and breath new cultural life into the dwindling community.
Surat also own a very well known Sir P.T. Sarvajanik College of Science. Along with P. T. Science college, M.T.B. Arts and K.P. Commerce College (within Sarvajanik College Campus) are the one of the oldest colleges of Gujarat. Shree V. T. Choksi Suryapur Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, located in Amliran near the Kavi Narmad Chaklo.
There are many schools providing excellent English education, as well as a host of Gujarati Medium Schools. Schools in Surat are either municipal schools, run by the Surat Municipal Corporation or private schools, which in some cases receive financial aid from the government. The schools are affiliated to the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSEB), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), ICSE and few schools are affiliated under National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). Gujarati or English are the usual languages of instruction.
Gujaratmitra, One of the oldest and most respected dailies of the country, is the most popular daily newspaper of Surat and South Gujarat. Besides Gujaratmitra, other dailies include Gujarat Samachar, Sandesh, Divya Bhaskar. Local editions of these newspapers are published in Gujarati. RAJASTHAN PATRIKA is one and only singal largest national Hindi daily newspaper published from surat.
Most cable service providers have local television channels. Satellite TV DTH services are provided by DISH TV, TATA SKY, Airtel, SUN DIRECT, BIG TV. Broadband internet connections are also available in the city. Broadband service providers include BSNL, TATA Indicom, Reliance Communication, YOU Broadband and Hathway Communications. Wi-Fi connectivity is available at many cafes. Currently, Surat has four private FM Radio stations – Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM, It's HOT!, Radio City 91.1, 94.3 FM, Big FM 92.7 along with the national radio 101.10 Vividh Bharati.
The 280-square-foot video wall, claimed to be the largest surveillance screen in the country, is being installed at the control room of police commissioner Mr. Rakesh Asthana (IPS). This will help the police view the entire city live through 100 CCTV cameras across the city. Surat police have decided to install 5,000 CCTV cameras at sensitive points across the city. While 1,000 cameras will be night vision cameras, 4,000 others will be simple CCTV cameras. This has been installed on PPP base with the help of city's businessmen, city's social persons, Surat Municipal Corporation & Surat City Police. 
Places of interest
Blues Adventures – Blues Adventures is a complete recreational and adventure project aimed to offer water-sports Activities, Amusement Park and Restaurants for the people of Surat (Surtis). The Blues Adventures is located at the basin of River Tapti (Tapi) on the Singanpore side of Weir-cum-Causeway in the city of Surat, India. Blues Adventures was inaugurated in January 2013 by the gracious hands of Hon. ex.Chief Minister of Gujarat Mr. Narendra Modi. The Chintamani Jain Temple – The exquisite wooden carvings and paintings are the major attractions of the temple. The temple, actively maintained and visited by the city's Jains, is situated in the Shahpor area and dates back to the 15th century. It houses some extremely rare paintings of the Jain monk Acharya Hemachandra, and of the Solanki King Kumarpal.
Dutch Garden – The ancient Dutch gardens, the Dutch cemetery and Makaipul, the ancient original port from where the ships sailed to other parts of the world are other attractions.
The Surat Fort – The Old Fort was built by Britishers in the 1616. It is now used for municipal offices.
The Sardar Patel Museum – Established in 1998, and originally called the Winchester Museum;, this museum has a collection of over 10,000 specimens of arts and crafts, now in the new Science Center campus on Citylight road.
Jawaharlal Nehru Garden – Colloquially known as Chowpaty, this is the largest and one of the oldest gardens in the city. It houses a musical fountain as well.
Beaches – There are a number of beaches near Surat. Only 16 km away, Dumas Beach is a popular resort with locals. Suvali is 28 km from the city and Ubhrat is 42 km out, while Tithal is 108 km away and only five km from Valsad on the Mumbai to Vadodara railway line. Suvali has two wells with water rich in iron and sulphur. Suvali beach is fringed by feathery casurina trees.
The Dutch Cemetery – Located near Kataragam Gate, this impressive mausoleum is that of Baron Hendrik Adriaan Van Rheede tot Drakenstein, who died in 1691. A massive dome, beautiful pillars and the huge gallery make it an outstanding monument.
Science Centre – Developed by the Surat Municipal Corporation in City Light area, Science Centre currently comprises a dedicated section for science exhibits, planetarium, art gallery and a museum dedicated to the history of Surat. It also has an auditorium with a seating capacity of 240 and an amphitheatre with seating capacity of 200.
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