The Scheme | Town Planning | Housing Scheme Department |
Progress Made | Land Department | Water Supply | Drainage |
Roads | Electricity | Commercial and Industrial Department |
Social & Public Services | Banking Services
THE SINDHU RESETTLEMENT CORPORATION LIMITED ADIPUR (KUTCH).
Gandhidham-Adipur, a twin township in this eastern part of Kutch District is one of the three new townships having come up in the Country after partition in 1947 – viz. Chandigarh in Punjab, Gandhinagar in Guajrat and again Gandhidham-Adipur in Kutch District of Gujarat.
The basic reason for creation of this new township was to rehabilitate and resettle the community which migrated from West Pakistan during partition in 1947.
The world community is aware that during partition the migrants from West Pakistan had almost lost everything and came empty hands to pledge their loyalty and sincerity towards the sovereignty of the Indian Constitution.
Bhai Pratap Dialdas born on 14th April, 1908 in Hyderabad Sindh hailing from family known for its affluence, a connoisseur of fine arts, a cultured businessman of his times, a freedom fighter from Sindh, and a close associate of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, thought of rehabilitation and resettlement of sindhi community in particular and thus made a humble submission to his guiding light and Guru Mahtama Gandhi to give a piece of land to this community so that they could rehabilitate, establish and maintain their identity as a part of this free country. Mahatmaji appreciated the feelings of Bhai Pratap Dialdas and directed him to take up the issue with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and also talk for the piece of land to Maharao of Kutch as they thought that Kutch was similar to the climate and social culture of Sindh.
Maharao Shri greatly accepted the request of Bhai Pratap and made the allotment of about 15000 acres of land in the eastern part of this District for establishment of a new township, which was subsequently reduced to 2600 acres of land by Government of India with the establishment of Kandla – major Port.
The Sindhu Resettlement Corporation Ltd., Adipur under the able leadership of Bhai Pratap as its first Managing Director was established in 1948 for the development of the township. The Board of Directors of the Corporation was headed by Acharya Kripalani and many renowned personalities of that time.
The scheme was conceived in a spirit of co-operative enterprise and the initiative was taken by the displaced persons themselves. Its purpose was to create a new township which may ultimately take the place of Karachi, and to rehabilitate there, the displaced persons in a manner so that they were not only housed but could also earn their livelihood. For effective working, the constitution adopted was that of a Joint Stock Company which is called “The Sindhu Resettlement Corporation Ltd.”, but the co-operative spirit is preserved by not allowing anyone to hold more than 25 shares and by restricting the dividend to six per cent. Participation in this scheme was open to all irrespective of their castes and creeds. The Board of Directors consisted of prominent Sindhis and Kutches. Shri Bhawanji Arjan Khimji and a younger brother of the Maharao of Kutch, were amongst the first Directors. All the directors including the Managing Director, gave their services honorary and took no remuneration.
Over 8000 persons, many of whom from the local public, had participated in the scheme, most of them belonging to middle classes. At the initial stage, the capital subscribed so far was over one and a half crore of rupees only. The Government too have acquired 25 per cent of the shares and have nominated 04 Directors on the Board of the Corporation.
As profit was not the motive of this Corporation, no profit is to be made from the grant of the land and all proceeds from its sale are to be utilized for the welfare of the town.
In the matter of the Master Plan for the town, the services of an Italian Town Planner of all-Europe repute, had been obtained in the beginning who gave many useful ideas. The plan thereafter was developed by an Indian Town Planner, employed by the Corporation. The basic principle of the plan is, that the town is divided into self-sufficient districts which are again sub-divided into neighbourhood units. Each neighbourhood unit, having a population of about 10,000 people, has its own schools, dispensaries, temples, etc. while each district consisting of about half a dozen neighbourhood units, has a district center, consisting of markets, shopping squares, cinemas, hospitals, etc. This principle has been greatly appreciated by all experts.
This Master Plan, as desired by the Government, was also checked and approved by an American Town Planning Organisation whose services had been obtained under “Truman Aid Scheme”.
Housing Scheme Department
The Ministry of Rehabilitation was kind enough to grant a loan of one crore and ten lacs of rupees for constructing about 4000 houses, tenements and shops. These houses, at first, were given out on rent and the loan discharged therefrom, but lately, the Ministry of Rehabilitation had allowed these houses to be sold on hire-purchase system to the displaced persons. The terms were very easy and the purchasers paid 10 to 15 per cent in the first instance and balance in equated instalments spread over 25 years’ time. Thus a displaced person, having even a couple of hundred rupees to spare, could acquire a house on his own.
The actual work started sometime in 1949-50.The progress made by various departments is briefly as follows :-
All the 2600 acres of land made available by the Government of India to the Corporation has been developed. About 2400 acres of land has been allotted to the shareholders of the Corporation. Apart from allotment of land to the shareholders, the land has also been allotted for the public utility services to Gandhidham Municipality and other Government Departmetns including Sport Authority of India for development of the sports activities in the region.
As provided under the Head Lease Agreement entered into between Government of India and the Corporation, 100 acres of land has been reserved for Corporation’s own business activites.
The Corporation has executed and completed the following Civil Projects as a Contractor for other agencies apart from building of twin township with required basic infrastructure :-
Initial phase i.e. Jetty No.1 of Kandla Port in collaboration with German Form Messrs Mckenzies Heinrich Butzer (India) Ltd.
Civil works at Jhakhau Port.
RCC bridge and road over Nakti Creek.
Gandhdiham Railway Station building and Railway Staff Quarters at Kandla.
During the construction stage of the township Gandhidham-Adipur, SRC had also taken up the responsibility of :-
Civic services till the formation of Municipality.
Establishment of Power houses to provide electricity till the State Agency took over.
Developed water resources by boring the tube wells at Viri and Nagalpur and provided water supply to the people till the Municipality came in existence.
The main sources of water supply were :-
(1) The Shinai Lake, having a capacity of about 400 milion cubic feet. With a moderate rainfall also this lake fills up and provides a copious source of water supply.
(2) Viri Springs, where the supply from artisan sources is inexhaustible.
The provision of water supply brings with itself the problem of the disposal of waste water. Plans have been prepared to provide ultimately underground drainage in the whole township. For the time being, main underground sewers have been laid and connected with the open surface drains near the houses. In some superior type of houses, underground drainage had also been laid.
The twin township Gandhidham-Adipur is connected with a link road which is now called the Tagore Road. All the roads within the municipal area of the twin township were initially built by the Corporation and now are being looked after by Gandhidham Municipality.
At the initial stage, all the houses in the twin township were provided with electric connection which has later on been takenover by the State Electricity Board.
Commercial and Industrial Department
At the initial stage, several factories for the manufacture of building materials were also established employing hundreds of displaced persons who were trained to do manual and skilled work and take to new professions in life such as
(1) Hollow cement block making factory with a capacity of manufacturing about 10000 blocks per day – material enough for about six simple houses. The process was automatic. The medium of construction had proved to be very economical and expeditious.
(2) R.C.C. Spun and Pole factory was established to manufacture practically all the pipes required for water supply and drainage schemes. This feature also employed hundreds of displaced persons.
(3) Wood workshop and Saw Mill : All the wood used in the houses constructed, had been manufactured in this unit and employed more than 100 carpenters.
(4) Auto Workshop and Mechanical Workshop : These units were working in conjunction to supplement the needs of above industries wherein the necessary repairs to the machinery were carried out on the spot. Besides, a fleet of lorries was maintained for transport purposes. Hundreds of refugees had been trained as mechanics and drivers.
(5) A Laboratory on a moderate scale had also been set up.
(6) A Vegetable Farm, a Diary Farm and a Poultry Farm had also been started.
All the above employment avenues were started to ensure that displaced persons establish in this new area and make it their own home land.
Social & Public Services
A social welfare Organisation called Maitri Mandal was established with an object of exploring possibilities of providing best education system in the province of Kutch and Gandhidham in particular. The Maitri Mandal later on in association with Tolanis established various other Degree Colleges for which land has been provided by the Corporation.
As a part of social obligation, the health services were given the most important and first priority and as a part of the scheme full fledged hospitals with qualified doctors were established to benefit the people preferring to settle in this new township.
The need for banking facilities was greatly felt by the residents of Gandhidham. In absence of such facilities, the transactions could not be affected properly as merchants, traders and shopkeepers in this township found this a great handicap to carry out day-to-day monetary transactions. At the initial stage, the Corporation provided these services also at a nominal commission charges but later on felt it necessary to establish a bank for the convenient banking transactions in this area. As such, the Gandhidham Co-op. Bank was established and its opening ceremony was performed on 7th December, 1951. The authorized capital of the Bank at that time was Rs.1 lac, divided into 1000 shares of Rs.10/- each. A provisional committee has been formed until the shareholders appointed their own Managing Board.
Today, the Gandhidham Co-op. Bank is not only a leading Co-op. sector bank in the State but has also established its creditability in large number of deposits and various facilities in accordance to the rules of Reserve Bank of India.
It is a saying that the “Selfless service and hardwork with the blessings of great Saints in this county has always made the tasks easier and successful”. The establishment of SRC Ltd. under the leadership of selfless and devoted person like Bhai Pratap Dialdas has paid the dividend and today what we see is not only the astonishing fact but also a established message to the world community that “Where there is a Will, there is a Way”.