Surat: Difference between revisions

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Revision as of 21:07, 11 March 2013

Surat(worst city ever)
surat
Metropolitan City
GauravPath1.jpg
Nickname(s): Diamond City, Textile City, Silk City, Clean City, Fastest Growing City, City Of Bridges & Flyovers
Country India
State Gujarat
District Surat
Zone 7
Government
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Body Surat Municipal Corporation & SUDA
 • Mayor Rajendra Ajitrai Desai
 • Municipal Commissioner Manoj Kumar Das
 • Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana
Area
 • Metropolitan City 326.515 km2 (126.068 sq mi)
Elevation 13 m (43 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Metropolitan City 44,62,002 (47 Lacs in mid Year2,012)
 • Rank 8th
 • Metro[2] 6,462,002
 • Metro rank 9th
Demonym(s) Surti
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Pincode(s) 395 0XX & 394 XXX
Area code(s) 91-261-XXX-XXXX
Vehicle registration GJ-05 & GJ-28
Coastline 35 kilometres (22 mi)
Literacy 86.65%[3]
Spoken languages Gujarati
HDI High
Website www.suratmunicipal.gov.in

Surat (સુરત), previously known as Suryapur, is a well-developed metropolis of the Indian state of Gujarat. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities of the world. The city is located 306 km south of state capital Gandhinagar, and is situated on the left bank of the Tapti River (Tapi), the center being around 22 km (14 mi) from its mouth.[4]

Highlights

Surat gained fame and recognition for being the '2nd Cleanest City in India' awarded by INTACH during 1995-1996, and it also won the best practice award by UN-CHS. It was once again declared the '3rd Cleanest City' in India in 2011.[5][6]

Surat is Gujarat's second largest city, and India's 8th most populated city (in terms of Population in Municipal Corporation area of the City) with a population of 4.5 million. Surat is the 73rd largest urban area in the world. Surat ranks 4th fastest growing city in a global study of fastest developing cities conducted by The City Mayors Foundation,[7] an international think tank on urban affairs. It is the fastest growing Indian city[8] in terms of economic prosperity.

The city registered an annualized fastest GDP growth rate of 11.5 per cent over the seven fiscal years between 2001 and 2008, according to data compiled by the economic research firm Indicus Analytics.[9]

UK-based charity, The Ecological Sequestration Trust (TEST), has selected Surat as one of the three cities in the world, to be developed as "Global Eco-cities."[10]

Surat-Navsari is an Investment Region in DMIC (Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor). Surat is also served by the proposed Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL).

A moat divides the older parts of the city, with its narrow streets and handsome houses, and the newer suburbs. The city is largely recognized for its textile and diamond businesses. It is also known as the diamond capital of the world and the textile capital/Manchester textile city of India, a distinction it took over from Ahmedabad. It is also known as the "Embroidery capital of India" with the highest number of embroidery machines than any other city.[11] 92% of the world's diamonds are cut and polished in Surat.[11]

History

Akbar's triumphal entry into Surat (1572)
A Deccani courtier, possibly Ibrahim Adil Shah II, hunting (ca. 1600)

Surat is mentioned in the Sanskrit epic, the Mahābhārata, when Lord Krishna stopped there en route from Mathura to Dwarka. According to other later Sanskrit records, the area was ruled by the Western Chālukyas in 610 CE, and continued to be ruled by Hindu kings until it was captured by one of the generals of Quṭbuddīn Aibak. The Parsis started to settle there from the 8th century onward, and added greatly to its prosperity, with there having been a thriving sea trade between Iran and Gujarat, owing to the famous Silk Route.

Local Hindu traditions state that the city as we know it today was founded in the last years of the fifteenth century by a Brahman named Gopi, who called it Suryapūr (City of the Sun).

In the early centuries during the reign of a Maratha King, the port of Surat was used as the gateway to Mecca for pilgrims of the Hajj from India's interior regions. Both the Makkai Pul and the Mughal Sarai guest house for hajjis (pilgrims) are indicators of this historical function.

In 1512 and 1530 Surat was burned and ravaged by the Portuguese Empire who were trying to maintain influence in the area. 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.[12]

Surat eclipsed Khambhat as the major port of western India, when Khambhat's harbour began to silt up by the end of fifteenth century. During the reigns of the Mughal emperors Akbar, Jahāngīr and Shāh Jahān, Surat rose to become a chief commercial city of India, and an imperial mint was established there. As the major port on the west coast of India, Surat also served as the port for the Hajj to Mecca. At the end of the 16th century, the Portuguese were undisputed masters of the Surat sea trade. There still is a picturesque fortress on the banks of the river 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. In 1664 the Maratha King Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji attacked Surat, a key Mughal power centre and a wealthy port town, which generated a million rupees in taxes. When Shivaji arrived in Surat, he demanded tribute from the Mughal commander of the army stationed for port security. The tribute was refused and, instead of battling the Marathas, the Mughal commander (Stationed at the Surat fort) sent an emissary to assassinate Shivaji, but in vain. Shivaji conquered the city, and forces under his command exacted their revenge. Shivaji's army sacked Surat for nearly 3 days, looting both the Mughal and Portuguese trading centres.

Surat was the primary port of India during the Mughal period, a distinction it lost to Bombay during the late 17th century as the East India Company grew.[11]

The prosperity of Surat received a fatal 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 relative decline concurrent with the rise of British interests in Bombay.

Surat was sacked again by Shivaji in 1670 when it was under Mughal Empire. By 1687, the English East India Company had moved the presidency to Bombay. At its height, Surat's population reached an estimated 800,000, but by the middle of the 19th century the number had fallen to 80,000. The British took control of Surat again in 1759, and assumed all government powers of the city in 1800.

Baghdadi Jews Cemetery 2

In 1730, Baghdadi Jewish Joseph Semah arrived from Baghdad to Surat and set up the Surat Synagogue and Cemetery here. The Synagogue is now demolished but the cemetery still is on the Katargam-Amroli main Road. The Jewish community had a very strong business mind and well educated community at that time. After a few years they moved to Mumbai, Kolkata and Pune and have contributed many things to India.

The city and the surrounding district remained comparatively tranquil during British rule. Even during the Revolt of 1857 (also known as the first struggle for India's independence), peace was not disturbed, owing to the largely mercantile interests of the local population. In the 19th century the Bawamia family was the wealthiest and most powerful family in the city of Surat, they were also heavily involved in the development of the city by focusing on maximising exports to increase revenue and hence increase savings which led to investment in the diamond industry.

A fire and a flood in 1837 destroyed many of the buildings of Surat. Among the interesting monuments that survived that 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 population had slowly climbed to 119,306 and Surat was a center of trade and manufacturing, although some of its former industries, such as shipbuilding, were extinct. 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 special manufactures of silk brocade and gold embroidery (known as Jari). The chief trades were organised in guilds. Manufacturing and trading brought an eclectic mix of ethnicity to the city, making Surat's culture unique.

In 1992, violent riots took place between Hindus and Muslims, the first and worst of their kind in the modern history of Surat. In 1994, a combination of heavy rains and blocked drains led to flooding of the city. A number of 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 and trade sanctions. The municipal commissioner during that time, S. R. Rao and the people of Surat worked hard in the late 1990s to clean the city.

Surat is also home to the royal descendants of the Amejee family which settled in Gujarat. The family were known to have direct lineage to the Mogul emperors, governed the Manikpur district, and were later known as the Boodi family.

Baghdadi Jewish Cemetery 1

Geography

Surat is growing much as its neighbouring metro Mumbai and by 2020 it is estimated that Surat will be the largest city in Gujarat state and its urbanisation will stretch from Kosamba in north to Billimora in south. 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 & Hazira area of Surat Metropolitan Region Surat Metropolitan Region). The city is located at 21°10′N 72°50′E / 21.17°N 72.83°E / 21.17; 72.83.[13] It has an average elevation of 13 meters. The Surat district is surrounded by Bharuch, Narmada (North), Navsari and Dang (South) districts. To the west is the Gulf of Cambay. The climate is tropical and monsoon rainfall is abundant (about 2,500 mm a year).

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.

Climate

Surat has a tropical savanna climate, moderated strongly by the Arabian Sea. The summer begins in early March and lasts till June. April and May are the hottest months, the average maximum temperature being 40 °C (104 °F). Monsoon begins in late June and the city receives about 1,000 millimetres (39 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 temperatures of around 23 °C (73 °F), and little rain.

Very often heavy monsoon rain brings floods in the Tapi basin area. In last two decades, the city has witnessed major floods every four years, the worst being the flood of August 2006, perhaps the costliest in the city's history. In the second week of August 2006, a massive flood caused severe damage to the city of Surat. According to a report released by Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (IIM-A), massive flood after release of water from Ukai Dam had caused major human tragedy and property damage estimated at Rs 220 billion on that day. In less than three days, at least 150 people died directly due to flood and many other due to water-borne diseases that followed. More than 1500 animal carcasses were later hauled out of the mud.[14]

Climate data for Surat, Gujarat (1932–1980)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.8
(100)
39.4
(102.9)
43.3
(109.9)
45.0
(113)
45.0
(113)
45.6
(114.1)
38.9
(102)
37.2
(99)
38.9
(102)
41.1
(106)
38.9
(102)
36.7
(98.1)
45.6
(114.1)
Average high °C (°F) 30.6
(87.1)
33.3
(91.9)
36.7
(98.1)
39.4
(102.9)
40.6
(105.1)
35.0
(95)
31.7
(89.1)
31.7
(89.1)
31.7
(89.1)
32.8
(91)
30.6
(87.1)
29.4
(84.9)
33.6
(92.5)
Average low °C (°F) 15.6
(60.1)
17.8
(64)
21.1
(70)
24.4
(75.9)
25.0
(77)
23.3
(73.9)
22.2
(72)
21.7
(71.1)
21.7
(71.1)
20.6
(69.1)
17.2
(63)
15.0
(59)
20.5
(68.9)
Record low °C (°F) 4.4
(39.9)
5.6
(42.1)
10.6
(51.1)
15.0
(59)
19.4
(66.9)
21.7
(71.1)
20.6
(69.1)
21.1
(70)
20.6
(69.1)
14.4
(57.9)
10.6
(51.1)
6.7
(44.1)
4.4
(39.9)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 3.0
(0.118)
3.0
(0.118)
2.0
(0.079)
2.0
(0.079)
5.0
(0.197)
218.0
(8.583)
442.0
(17.402)
192.0
(7.559)
150.0
(5.906)
38.0
(1.496)
8.0
(0.315)
3.0
(0.118)
1,065
(41.929)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 279.0 282.4 279.0 300.0 310.0 210.0 124.0 93.0 210.0 279.0 270.0 279.0 2,915.4
Source #1: Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial[15]
Source #2: World Climate Guide (sunshine only)[16]

Economy

Surat Growth Map

Surat ranked 9th in India with GDP of $40 billion in the Fin Year 2011-12, which was $14 billion in 2010. The per capita GDP which was $8000 in 2010. Surat is known for diamonds, textiles and recently for diamond-studded gold jewelry manufacturing. Surat registered GDP of 11.5% for seven fiscal years from 2001-2008 which was 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.

Diamond polishing

Surat is famous for its diamond industry and textile industry, along with silk and chemicals. 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. Though much of the polishing work takes place on small weight stones, Surat's workshops have set their eyes on the lucrative market for finishing larger, pricier stones in the future. 80 per cent of all diamonds sold in any part of the world are polished in Surat 's 10,000 diamond units.[citation needed]

The 18 November 2008 issue of the Wall Street Journal had an article about the diamond industry in Surat. It claims that 80% of the world's finished diamonds are cut and polished in this city. However the wages of the industry's workers remained flat for years and 250,000 workers, or one-third of the city's diamond industry workforce, has left between 2005–2008, leaving about 500,000. Only after a July 2008 strike did the workers obtain a 20% salary raise, their first in a decade. Most of the diamonds are polished in the Varachha area.

Textiles

Surat is known for producing world-class synthetic textiles.".[17]

Surti households have been declared the most prosperous in the country by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and Future Capital Research's Roopa Purushothaman in their latest study. The average annual household income (AHI) in the diamond city is Rs 457,000 – the highest in the country.[18] The study says that Surat's AHI is almost equal to China's per capita income of 2007 and double the national per capita income. Even its GDP growth of 11.5 per cent for the many consecutive years is the fastest in the country.[19] Recently Surat's diamond and textile industry faced the recession due to slowdown in US economy but is recovering. Jari, the oldest business in Surat, and 80000 embroidery units make the city a major center of the embroidery industry.

Other industries

Surat also has many industrial Giants such as KRIBHCO mammoth fertiliser plant, Reliance petrochemical plant, Essar's 10 million tonne steel plant, Power plant, port and Shipping facilities, L&T's heavy engineering unit, GSEG, gas processing plant of ONGC, GAIL (Gas Authority India Ltd.), Niko Resources Ltd(MNC A Canadian based company Olpad, Surat, Gujarat Type of Project: Exploration and Production Oil & Gas), NTPC -KGPP gas based power plant, Shell LNG terminal, AHPPL-Adani Hazira Port Pvt Ltd All these at Hazira and ABG Shipyard (Shipbuilding Yard) and UltraTech Cement (grinding Unit) at Magdalla port where as Torrent Power has mega power plant and GIPCL has got a huge lignite power plant in kamrej area. L&T colony &and ONGC colony are situated near to the airport.

Real estate

Housing sector is the most preferred segment in Surat too like in other parts of the country. Leading property developers are coming up with all kinds of affordable and luxury homes to woo buyers from all classes i. e. to cater to the needs of both nationals and NRIs. Though the industrial sector of the city is quite well established, expansion work is going on in full swing. Even the retail property sector is developing manifold to meet the recreation needs of its growing population with number of malls, multiplexes and retail outlets opening up across the city. Surat real estate is at its best with builders taking keen interest in developing property in the peripheries of the ‘Silk City'.

Surat is a one of the best place in India to invest in real estate sector.

Government and politics

Surat is represented in Lok Sabha of the Indian Parliament by Two Parliamentary Constituencies Surat (Lok Sabha constituency) and Navsari (Lok Sabha constituency) .

Surat City has 12 Vidhan Sabha constituencies representing it in the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha or Gujarat State Legislative Assembly.

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 majority. Surat Municipal Corporation is one of the wealthiest municipal corporation in India. SMC won G2C Award with 1st Rank in India in Transparency & Accountability in e-governance in year 2012 from Urban Development Dept & Janaragh NGO. SMC also won 7th place in India in e-governance practice.

Transportation

Air

Prior to September 2007 Surat was the only city in the world with a population of over 4.6 million people without a functioning airport. This city is 4th fastest growing city in the world, having largest GDP in India, this city is 2nd biggest city in Gujarat and 8th biggest city in India. The Surat Airport was closed down due to technical reasons in 2001. The new airport finally became functional with Surat-Delhi IA flight on 6 May 2007. Now Surat Air Port at Magdalla is in Operation 2011 Onwards. Surat has air connectivity with Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Amritsar,Mangalore, Srinagar, Goa, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar. A direct flight to Dubai via Mumbai and New Delhi was launched by SpiceJet in September 2012.

Rail

Surat railway station is under the administrative control of the Mumbai Division, Western Railway zone of the Indian Railways. Erection of Surat Railway Station was begun in 1860 AD. It connects Surat with Mumbai, Varanasi, Delhi,Ujjain, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Indore, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Satna, Patna, Bhopal and other cities of North India. There is also a connection to the Central Railway zone through Udhana Railway Junction and the Tapti line which connects Surat with cities of central & east India namely Jalgaon, Amravati, Nagpur, Durg, Raipur and Kolkata. Passenger trains range from local trains that stop at all stations on the way to express trains like the August Kranti Rajdhani Express and the Mumbai Rajdhani Express. In addition, there are freight trains that move the goods produced by the city to the rest of the country and beyond, and bring supplies into the city. Surat Railway Station which was built by the British is one of its kind in India, as the railway platform is on the first floor of the railway station and the train reaches the platform through an inclined ramp. Surat railway station is situated at first floor which is highest level of railway station in India. The proposal for double laning of Surat-Hazira line has been approved and so has been the Udhana-Jalgaon line. The central railway station "Udhana" will be more in demand once the double laning of Udhana-Jalgaon line is completed.
Surat-Navsari is important investment region in DMIC (Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor). Surat is also in Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL)

Road

Owing to heavy traffic congestion on major highways passing through Surat city, new expressways are planned and will be completed by 2013. Surat has excellent roads according to Business Today Magazine.[17] 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, Surat-Kolkata Highway also known as Dhulia Highway. 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 recently seen the completion of a large number of road projects, particularly elevated roads, flyovers, in the diamond and textile zones of the city. Surat is also known as city of flyovers having the highest number of flyover in India. This has significantly cut down the commuting time for many people travelling to the diamond and textile districts. 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 flyover under city municipal limits in the four lane category.[20][21] Surat will have 94 flyovers till 2015 end.Till now 63 are constructed.

Athwa Gate, Surat

A new out ring road is planned to improve the road connectivity of the city and its constrauction is going to start very soon

The Golden Quadrilateral highway system passes through Surat. The city is connected to the National Highway 8 through a 16 km connector highway. National highway 6, also known as Surat – Kolkata Highway, starts from Hazira and passes through Surat city and connects the city to Dhule, Amravati, Nagpur, Raipur, Sambalpur, Kharagpur and Calcutta. The National Highway 228, also known as Dandi Heritage highway, starts from Sabarmati in Ahmedabad and passes through Anand, Kheda, Ankleshwar and passes through Surat city to Navsari and ends up in Dandi. Many important State Highways are passing by Surat.

Local transport

On 22 August 2008, the SMSS bus service was opened by the city Mayor Dr. Kanubhai Mavani. It is considered the best city bus services in India. These buses are CNG-fuelled. However, route information written by chalk on windshield is more often visible. Frequency of buses is sparse, making shared auto rickshaws a main mode of local travel. The conductor uses an electronic machine to print out the tickets. Bus rapid transit system is planned for the city and the project is expected to be completed by end of 2013. In August 2012, plans for an intracity metro train service were approved by Chief Minister Narendra Modi. This plan includes the construction of underground and overground metro trains and monorails. The twin cities of Surat and Navsari will also be connected by metro railway under this project. Construction is expected to commence soon. Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is confident of making the metro rail project a reality in the city by 2017-18.[22]

Infrastructure

Surat sets a good example to other cities in terms of basic urban infrastructure along with externally visible beautification. 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.[citation needed] 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, while other metropolitan cities only started this after 2010. CNG entered Surat in the early '90s and more than 95% of auto rickshaws and public buses run on CNG as an efficient and less polluting fuel at the end of 2005. Several government and private run hospitals are there in Surat to provide medical assistance to the citizens and the visitors. The authority has stressed on E-Governance to bring speed to the overall administration works. Numerous top grade schools and colleges enrich the education scenario of Surat.[citation needed] The city also has some well developed areas like Adajan, Udhna, Vesu and Varachha, which are being developed and flourishing as well.

Demographics

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%.[23] 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. Municipal Corporation of Surat has recorded more than 80% growth in population for several decades: Population (Census Year): 776,583 (1981), 1,498,817 (1991), 2,433,835 (2001), 4,461,026 (2011).[2] Surat is also one of the highest dense populated city of India which is 50567.36 (413641 persons/8.18 sqkm) in Central zone of SMC and 41929.15 (581138 persons/13.86 sqkm) in East zone of SMC [24]

Because of unauthorized residential buildings and slums, which cause difficulties in counting the residents of these areas, combined with the explosive growth in population (mostly through migration), it is generally believed that as of 2012 about 5.0 million people live within the Surat Municipal Corporation.[citation needed]

Culture and festivals

Surat is known for its Surati cuisine, which includes perennial favourites such as "Ghari" (a type of sweet), Locho, Undhiyu, Rasaawala Khaman, 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. In the cooler winter months, Suratis converge at river Tapi's banks to eat Ponk, a roasted cereal that is available only in this part of the world. Surat is the only major city in Gujarat which has a vibrant non-vegetarian food culture. Novel dishes made from eggs (ghotala, kheema, half fry) are specialties which are savoured with much gusto. Apart from this the traditional mutton preparation of tapela, fish (patra macchi), and lemon chicken can be relished in the old city area.

All major Indian 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 January – is very popular in the city. It is also well known for the celebration of Chandi Padvo which usually occurs around October and is a holiday unique to Surat. This day comes after one of the two biggest full moon days of the Hindu calendar year, "Sharad Purnima". On this day, Suratis buy almost 100 tons of Ghari and other Surati delicacies.

Education

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) and few schools are affiliated under National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). Gujarati or English are the usual languages of instruction. The government-run public schools lack many facilities, but are the only option for poorer residents who cannot afford the more expensive private schools. A majority of residents prefer private schools because of better infrastructure and the use of English as a medium of instruction. High-profile schools have started coming up in the city, with some of them being among the most expensive in the country.

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 and Nairobi, Kenya. 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. Present Dai Dr Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin has expanded it with the state-of-the-art facilities including International Baccalaureate Office (IBO) which has acceptance worldwide.

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.

Surat is the home of Shree V. T. Choksi Suryapur Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, located in Amliran near the Kavi Narmad Chaklo.

Most of the colleges are affiliated to Veer Narmad south Gujarat University (VNSGU) which is named after the Great Kavi Veer Narmad. Apart from that colleges are also affiliated to SNDT, GTU-Gujarat Technical University, Uka-Tarsadiya University and other universities too.
Surat has the prestigious Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SVNIT), commonly known to local people as SVR from its earlier name SVRCET (Sardar Vallabhbhai Regional College of Engineering and Technology). It is one of the National Institutes of Technology, which are considered premier institutes for engineering and technology education in India. With its festivals (Mindbend and Sparsh to name few) throughout the year, the college maintains a vibrant atmosphere inside as well as outside the campus. The college is favourite destination for morning joggers of the city.[25]

There are a few other engineering colleges in Surat, namely Dr. S. & S. S. Ghandhy Government Engineering College, Surat (GEC)- Dr. S. & S. S. Ghandhy College of Engineering & Technology Campus(Estd. 1955-Diploma wing),[26][27][28] Sarvajanik College of Engineering and Technology (SCET), C K Pithawala College of Engineering and Technology (CKPCET), Bhagwan Mahavir College of Engineering and Technology. These colleges teaching Diploma, Degree, PG courses in various fields of Engineering.

The IDI-Indian Diamond Institute established in 1978 is the most coveted institute in the field of diamonds, gems and jewellery in India is a state-of-art school of learning, everything within the campus, under one roof. The IDI is ISO 9001:2008 certified for Design Development and provision of Training, Consultancy and Certification services related to diamonds, colored stones and jewellery.

The city has two medical colleges – "Government Medical College and New Civil Hospital" and "SMIMER", both awarding the degrees of MBBS and MD, MS. The city also holds 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.

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 colleges in the city are affiliated with the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University. SVNIT is Deemed University, Auro University has also started to provide education in Surat.[29] Uka Tarsadia University[30] is providing Engineering, Pharmacy, Education, Medical in neighbor town Bardoli.

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.[31]

Media

Gujarat Samachar, One of the oldest and most respected dailies of the country, is the most popular daily newspaper of Surat and South Gujarat. Besides Gujarat Samachar, other dailies include Gujarat Mitra Gujrat Darpan, Sandesh, Divya Bhaskar and Gujarat Guardian. Local editions of these newspapers are published in Gujarati. Lok Tej was the first Hindi daily published in Surat. Rajasthan Patrika and Savera are now the top Hindi daily newspapers in Surat. The national English dailies such as The Times of India, Indian Express and Mid Day are the most popular English-language newspapers. DNA-Daily News and Analysis is a new addition to the list of English dailies available in Surat. Many Marathi newspapers like Loksatta, Lokmat, Sakal, Samana are also available in 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 five private FM Radio stations – Radio City 91.1, Radio Mirchi 98.3, My FM 94.3, Big FM 92.7, 93.5 Red FM along with the national radio 101.10 Vividh Bharati.

Sports

Magdalla Boat Race

Surat has many sports facilities. The Lalbhai Contractor Stadium, VNSGU's University ground with excellent structure and Pithawala Cricket stadium have facilities for hosting cricket matches. In addition, Surat Municipal Corporation has built Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Indoor Stadium with modern facilities and a seating capacity for 7000. There are a few sports clubs which provide many types of indoor and outdoor games, including The Surat Tennis Club, Surat City Gymkhana and Rander Gymkhana (RG). Recently one of the biggest swimming pools in the city has been opened near Palanpur Patiya area. The Rander area also hosts the Royal Cricket Ground.

An annual boat race takes place in Surat, in the Tapi river, starting from an island in Arabian sea, sailing upstream Tapi to Magdalla.

Places of interest

Dumas Beach

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.

Joggers Park

The Surat Fort – The Old Fort was built by Britishers in the 1616 to fortify the defence against the Bhils. It is now used for municipal offices.

The Sardar Patel Museum – Established in 1898, 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.[32]

Gaurav Path – A well planned and well-built six-lane road to decongest the traffic in the Piplod area of the city. It is dotted with multiplexes, shopping malls, showrooms and restaurants. This road connects the city to its airport and Port of Magdalla. Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology is also located on this road. Extending this road till Dumas is underway.

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. The adjoining area is one of the most famous eating spots with sequences of stalls serving Indian snacks along with Chinese and South Indian cuisines.

Dumas Beach is a beach located along the Arabian Sea around 21 km South west of the City centre.

Saputara is a hill station in the Sahyadri Hills only 170 km from Surat at an altitude of 1140 meters above sea level. Lying at a higher altitude Saputara has a cool climate.

Wilson Hills, Gujarat is a hill station in the Sahyadri ranges of Valsad district near Dharampur at an altitude of 850 meters (2700 feet) above sea level. The nearest hill station of Surat. It enjoys a cool and a serene climate throughout the year. It is only 120 km from Surat.

Vansda National Park – It is situated in the Navsari district and is home to leopards, tigers, panthers, pythons and wild boars. The best time to visit is between July and January. 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. Ring Road, Surat

Suvali Beach

Thirty-nine kilometres south of Surat, Navsari- The Twin city of Surat has been a headquarters for the Parsi community since the earliest days of their settlement in India. Udvada, only 10 km north of Vapi, the station for Daman, has the oldest Parsi sacred fire in India. It is said that the fire was brought from Persia to Diu, on the opposite coast of the Gulf of Cambay, in AD 700. Sanjan, in the extreme south of the state, is the small port where the Parsis first landed; a pillar marks the spot.

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.[33]

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[34] and an amphitheatre with seating capacity of 200.[35] A dedicated gallery for Diamonds, Textile and Space are also proposed. The Ambaniketan temple- this temple is located on surat ring road it is a huge temple

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Cinema and entertainment

There are many multiplexes in Surat, such as

Multiplex Location
Rajhans(Since 2001) Dummas Road
Valentine Multiplex Dummas Road
City Plus Multiplex Dummas Road
CineMAX (Multiplex) Iris Mall/Surat Central Mall, Dummas Road
PVR Cinemas (Multiplex) (8 Screens, Since 2011) Rahul Raj Mall, Dummas Road
Rahul Raj Mall
Fame Raj Empire Multiplex (6 Screens, Since 2006) Bhatar Road
Cinépolis Multiplex Imperial square/Star Bazar, Pal-Hazira Road
Imperial Square Mall
Rajhans Multiplex Pal-Hazira Road
Kinnary Multiplex Ring Road
Alankar Multiplex Bardoli, Di. Surat
MILANO MULTIPLAX THE WONDER BARDOLI, Di. Surat

The city also has number of single screen movie theatres and hundreds of Multi-screen Mini theaters. Stage theatres (Act Play) where plays can be seen such as Gandhi Smruti Bhavan, Pandit Dindayal Upadhyay Indoor Stadium, Sardar Patel Smruti Bhavan-Varachha, International Convocation Center-Sarsana are a popular intellectual pastime for Surtis.And a Bollywood theme park (Amusement Park) has just been approved at a cost of 200 crores at Magob. An aquarium will be completed by 2012 end which have sharks and 49 different species.[citation needed]

e-governance

SMC & SUDA is also using e-governance & m-governance. SMC is having thousands of computer in its various offices in the city for different purposes. SMC stood ahead of all metros of India with First rank in Transparency & Accountability in Urban G2C Awards for e-governance by Urban Development Dept & Janagrah NGO in 2012 with 54 points and ranked seventh in overall rankings in India, here it is ahead of Delhi-New Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh etc.[36]

Public Safety

The 280 square feet 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. [37]

See also

Surat-Future City of India[telecast on 7th Sep 2012 on CNBC Awaaz][38][39]

References

SuratWikipedia book

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  2. ^ a b "Census 2011- Figures at a Glance (India, Gujarat, Surat District & SMC) : Surat Municipal corporation". Suratmunicipal.gov.in. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  3. ^ "Literacy Rates by Sext for State and District". 2011 census of India. Government of India. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "History of Surat". 
  5. ^ "Chandigarh cleanest city, Mysore number two". CNN-IBN. 2010-05-11. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
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  7. ^ "Surat fourth fastest growing city in world". The Times Of India. 23 July 2011. 
  8. ^ rediff.com: India's 10 fastest growing cities
  9. ^ GDP growth: Surat fastest, Mumbai largest
  10. ^ "Surat going Singapore way!". The Times Of India. 14 May 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c Adiga, Aravind (2004-04-12). "Uncommon Brilliance". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on 2010-01-16. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  12. ^ "Name of City". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  13. ^ "Location". Falling Rain. Retrieved 2009-11-06. [dead link]
  14. ^ "IIM-A Report on Flood". IIM-A. Retrieved 2008-07-06. [dead link]
  15. ^ "INDIA – SURAT". Centro de Investigaciones Fitosociológicas. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  16. ^ "Surat Climate Guide". World Climate Guide. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  17. ^ a b "Next Best Cities Of India". Business Today. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  18. ^ Mehta, Yagnesh (2008-08-09). "Annual Income". NCAER. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  19. ^ "GDP". Indicus Analytics. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  20. ^ "Varachha flyover may not be the longest". The Times of India. India. 2004-01-30. Archived from the original on 2004-10-24. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  21. ^ "CM to inaugurate Varachha flyover". The Times of India. India. 2004-01-29. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  22. ^ Himansshu Bhatt, TNN Jul 25, 2012, 06.54AM IST (2012-07-25). "Surat Municipal Corporation confident of making metro rail project a reality by 2017-18 - Times Of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  23. ^ Surat City Census 2011 data
  24. ^ "Zonewise Area, Population, Density and Decadal Growth of SMC : Surat Municipal corporation". Suratmunicipal.gov.in. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  25. ^ SVNIT webpage. Archived 2009-06-03 at WebCite.
  26. ^ Welcome to Dr. S. & S. S. Ghandhy College of Engineering & Technology
  27. ^ Government Engineering College Surat - Placement Cell
  28. ^ http://teb.gujarat.gov.in/inst_02.htm    "http://gtuinfo.in/Engineering-Diploma/GTUCollegeDetail/612/Dr.S.and+S.S.Gandhi+college+of+Engg.+And+Technology,Surat.aspx"
  29. ^ "AURO University – MBA, BBA, Hospitality Management Degree Programs, BBA+LLB, Bsc IT Courses In Surat Gujarat India". Aurouniversity.edu.in. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  30. ^ utu.ac.in/
  31. ^ "Parsi Theater". Times of India. India. 11 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-11. 
  32. ^ Science Centre : Surat Municipal corporation
  33. ^ "Dutch Governor's Tomb". British Library. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  34. ^ "Science Centre Surat". Surat Municipal Corporation. 
  35. ^ "Science Centre Surat, Amphitheatre". Surat Municipal Corporation. 
  36. ^ http://janaagraha.org/files/G2C_Awards_Data_Book_.pdf
  37. ^ Business Standard (2013-01-19). "Surat to have new security system". Business Standard. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  38. ^ "Future Cities of India Surat - ROAD AHEAD". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  39. ^ "Future Cities of India Surat- Investment.". YouTube. 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 

External links