Surat is under lockdown since 25th March 2020, along with other districts of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic caused by novel corona virus SARS-CoV-2. Currently there is no known solution to treat this disease and social distancing along with rigourous hygiene practices like frequently washing hands, avoiding touching of surfaces and faces, using sanitizer, covering faces with masks, wearing gloves are at the highest priority. City corporation in this fight to protect it’s citizen is constantly on the move by disinfecting the areas were corona positive cases are found as well as all public areas like shops, malls, marts, vegetable marts, ATMs etc.


When we are fighting with a new disease, the best medicine is to reduce the impact of spread by following the preventive measures. In this fight with Corona virus, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has taken up many preventive and precautionary measures to tackle the outbreak and keep the city safe and secure.

SMC keeps a check on the cleanliness of Surat under the door-to-door waste collection regime.


SMC constantly identifies corona virus infected localities and immediately disinfects the entire vicinity with disinfectents. By active survelliance, SMC has managed to identify the corona infected cases by reaching out to every nook and corner of the city and determine the flow of infection across the city. By keeping a tap on rising cases, identifying the clusters and isolating those clusters from other areas of the cities, restricting the movement across the city as well as applying curfew in heavily infected localities, SMC is carrying every possible move to contain this corona virus spread as well as restrict the spread of this disease.

Disinfections carried out today in locations : 4484
Disinfections carried out till date : 117250+

SMC under it’s SAMVEDNA care for citizens regime provides relief to needy citizens by distributing over 9 lakh food packets daily along with the help from NGOs and Akashaypatra.

Read more about Fight against Corona in Surat

Migratory Birds Seagulls visit Surat every winter

Seagulls visit Tapi River banks in Surat every year during winter in large numbers. They come in thousands and stay here for 3-4 months from November to February. This year as well they have come to taste Surti food for which they have become adapted and habituated for. It seems they keep coming to taste these tasty snacks of Surat such as gathiya, namkeen, dhokla and others. However it is not sure if this is causing them any kind of serious damage. Healthcare and Bird experts feel that they should be fed only boiled food or their natural diet to keep them safe.

However Surtis in large number are seen feeding gathiya and other snacks during early morning and evenings. Seagulls have developed a discipline to come in position to sit near the railing at the bridge and wait for someone to place the snacks. They come in turns and are seen savoring the delight. You can see seagulls getting upclose to humans, seems like they have been domesticated. Across the world, Seagulls are seen to have similar behaviour at beaches and urban establishment where often they are seen to steal food from the visitors. Seagulls eat fishes and insects as their natural diet.

They are seen taken ride in Tapi river to fulfill their taste buds. Seagulls are seen in large number near Makkai Pool, where it has become their usual breakfast and evening snacks spot. They are also seen resting in the muddy islands in Tapi River. On the other side of the city, where Tapi River looks like a lake near Singanpore, wier-cum-causeway carries a new avatar of Tapi. Here large flocks of birds are seen swimming in the water and flying at certain intervals. Below video is captured at one such instance.

Seagulls flying above Tapi River near Wier-cum-Causeway in Surat

Best time to see Seagulls near Tapi river is early mornings when the Sun is rising behind the urban infrastructure. Large number of Surtis are seen going on walks, jogging and running. They feed these birds as well. Also during evening before Sunset, you can enjoy the Sun going down near Tapi River and see the birds making large sounds as they feed on the food. You will find the darkness creating a silhoutte of the city infrastructure, in the background sunsetting into the river and in the foreground you will see these birds flying with wide open wings. A perfect time to carry your camera and click some pictures of this birds upclose as well as landscapes.

Seagulls at Makkai Pool Bridge railing waiting for food from ongoing commuters in Surat
Seagulls at Makkai Pool Bridge railing waiting for food from ongoing commuters in Surat

Try to care for these birds as they have come from far off lands possibly from the freezing cold Europe or Russia. There is not sure trace of these birds, however it is seen that every year they return to the very spot and stay for few months, before they make return to their home lands. As visitors, they bring about a beauty to our city and repeated return makes our city their favorite place. So we need to continue keeping our city clean and treat our foreign visitors with care and love as always.

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Aabid Surti, painter, author, cartoonist, journalist, environmentalist, playwright and screenwriter from India.

Aabid Surti is a painter, author, cartoonist, journalist, environmentalist, playwright and screenwriter from India. He was given a National Award by the government of India in 1993 for one of his books.

Abid Surti was born in a Gujarati Muslim family on 5 May 1935 at Vavera, near Rajula, Gujarat, India to Gulam-hussain and Sakina Begum. In his childhood, at the age of 5, he almost got carried away by flood in the Tapti river near Surat. The family later shifted to Bombay and he spent his childhood in Dongri area of Mumbai. His father was follower of Sufism. He joined the J. J. School of Art in 1954 and obtained a Diploma in Arts. He was greatly influenced by the writings of 20th-century Bengali novelist, Sharat Chandra Chatterji. Besides being a writer in Hindi and Gujarati, he is also an expert in Urdu. He started his career as a freelancer. In 1965, he married Masooma Begum; they have two sons from this marriage.

Surti has written short stories, novels, plays, children’s books and travelogues. Several of his books have been translated into regional languages. He has also been writing for Hindi and Gujarati newspapers and magazines for over 40 years and received a National Award for his short-story collection Teesri Aankh in 1993. He became an author by accident. When his first love broke down due to family pressure, the teenaged Aabid had no one to confide in – so he began putting his story on paper. The story was published in Gujarati in 1965 as Tootela Farishta (Fallen Angels) and proved to be an unexpected success.

He has written more than 80 books, including 45 novels, 10 short story collections and 7 plays.

The autobiographical novel Musalman was an account of his childhood in the poverty-ridden Dongri area of Mumbai. His latest novel, Sufi, describes the parallel lives of two friends: the author himself and a man called Iqbal Rupani, who rose to become the kingpin of the Mumbai underworld in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1975, his fictional version based on the Devil’s Bible, entitled The Black Book, created a nationwide controversy. Even amidst critical acclaim, it was translated into seven languages and voted Book of the Year in Kannada. He earned the nickname the “Salman Rushdie of India” after his Black Book was published.

Surti has been acclaimed as a painter, credited with using creative and original techniques to paint with oil and watercolours. His use of acrylic colours applied to Italian art paper is also said to be out of this world. An accomplished painter, he has held 16 exhibitions in India and abroad. In his early years, he invented an innovative technique called “mirror collage” which won critical acclaim in Japan. In 1971, the Indian government commissioned a short film to showcase his creative work.

Aabid Surti founded Drop Dead, a water conservation initiative in Mumbai in 2007. Every Sunday, along with a plumber and an assistant, he visits houses in and around Mira Road and fixes dripping taps. He simply replaces old O-ring rubber gaskets with new ones. The idea struck him in 2007 when he noticed the dripping tap in his friend’s house. “A tap that drips water once every second wastes about 1,000 litres of water every month so imagine how much we all waste,” he points out. Surti and his assistants raise awareness through posters and pamphlets. He pays for all expenses from his pocket.

To know more about his detailed work visit Wikipedia page about him.

This post is from our series – Surtis, People of Surat. We bring to you stories of Surtis, people from Surat who have a story of them in the fields of Arts, Science, Technology, Entertainment, Food, Health, History, Journalism, Environment, Education, Politics, Social Reforms and many others. Follow our channel for more updates into your inbox. Stay tuned.

SMC plans roof-top solar implementation on BRTS Bus Stops

Surat: Roof-top solar power generating systems with 200KW capacity will be installed on 156 BRTS bus stops in the city. A private company into the business of solar power generation will install the system and maintain it for a period of 25 years. The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) will purchase the power produced at concessional rates.

SMC has invited tenders from solar power developer to survey and set up 200KW solar power units at BRTS bus stops by adopting the Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) model.

Under this model, the company will install and maintain the solar power system and civic body will purchase the electricity produced at a fixed rate for stipulated period of time.

“This would suffice us to run electrical operations in and around the bus stop,” said SMC commissioner M Thennarasan.

According to an estimate, a 200KW roof-top solar power system generates nearly 250 units every month and 100 such panels would generate 25,000 units. A solar power company would provide SMC electricity at the rate of Rs 5.8 per unit against regular market rate of Rs 7.69 per unit, resulting in a saving of up to Rs 5.25 lakh in electricity bills.

Besides solar power generation, SMC has also started giving contracts for setting up hoardings atop its bus stops.

Source : Times Of India

Surat becomes first district to have 100% solar powered health centres (PHC)

There are a total of 52 PHCs in the district and all of them are now powered by solar system. This initiative will not only bring down the electricity bill by 40 percent but also help fight global warming.

At a time when global warming is mounting with each passing day, Gujarat’s Surat district has switched to solar power to combat the issue.

Surat has become the first district in the country to have 100 percent solar powered Primary Health Centers (PHC).

There are a total of 52 PHCs in the district and all of them are now powered by solar system. This initiative will not only bring down the electricity bill by 40 percent but also help fight global warming.

“Other than PHCs, there are 572 gram panchayats in the Surat District, out of which 150 are solar powered gram panchayats and soon the other 422 panchayats will too be solar powered. 25 percent of the total expense of making the gram panchayat solar powered has been borne by the district panchayat,” District Development Officer K. Rajesh told ANI.

Rajesh is confident that Surat would set an example for the country by developing villages that use sustainable forms of energy.

Source : News Feed

Surat goes Solar Power with 25 MW implementation

SURAT: Surat, which aims at becoming the first solar city of the country, will have 25MW of installed capacity of solar power by February 2019. It already has 15MW of installed capacity of solar power and tops the chart in the country.

The city administration had received 4,500 applications from residents and commercial establishments in the first phase until September 24. It received another 1,000 applications in the second phase that began from September 24 and ends next year in the same month.

“The second phase will help add another 10MW in the installed capacity of solar power to take it up to 25MW,” said KH Khatwani, additional city engineer, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC).

The ministry of new and renewable energy has increased subsidy on solar panels to encourage use of clean energy. Before September 24, 2018, one KV solar panel used to cost Rs69,000. However, one can now buy it for Rs48,300.

In all, 4,000 solar panels of different capacities were installed in the city which produce 15 megawatts (MW) of solar power.

“The rate of conventional energy has gone up by 3 to 5 per cent while the cost of solar panel has fallen. This may encourage people to install solar panels on their rooftops which will bring down their energy cost by at least 50 per cent in future,” Khatwani added.

The Energy and Resources Institute had carried out a survey 18 months ago and it found that Surat had a potential to generate about 418MW of solar energy from panels installed on rooftops. Rooftops of houses in the city can generate 179MW, commercial establishments 210MW, educational and health organizations 23MW and government offices 6MW of solar power. Solar panels on SMC buildings already help produce 5MW of solar power. Surat expects to produced 50MW of solar power by September 2019.

Source : times of india