Protest against merger with VMC on hold MLA meets agitating villagers, promises to take up issue with CM

In April, a petition was filed seeking a stay against the government proposal to include the villages in VMC.

Representatives of seven villages agitating against merger with the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) have decided to put their protests on hold after Manjalpur MLA Yogesh Patel met them on Monday and assured them of a solution at the earliest.

The MLA met sarpanches and other representatives of the villages — Bhayli, Vemali, Sevasi, Bil, Karodiya, Undera and Vadadla — to hear and redress their grievances pertaining to the June 18 notification of the state government.

“There was a meeting at the Collector’s office regarding another issue and we also met them (sarpanch of the seven villages) to listen to their grievances. Their main concerns were that they will have to pay more taxes. We have noted down all their issues and will take them up with the Chief Minister at the earliest, most likely by Wednesday when we have a cabinet meeting. In accordance with this, we have asked them to keep their agitations on hold,” Patel said.

With the assurance of a positive solution in the matter, the villagers have agreed to put their agitation on hold. “The MLA initiated the dialogue after our protests. We have already put forth our demands and after the meeting with us he assured us that he will speak to the Chief Minister and derive a positive solution to the problem within the next four days,” said Jay Bhatt, sarpanch of Bil village.

“They have demanded four days to come up with a solution and we have agreed to not hold any protests in the meantime. But if no concrete solution is derived, we will resume protests and demonstrations,” Bhatt added.
Seven villages were added to the VMC limits through a notification of the state Urban Development and Urban Housing Department, adding a population of almost 2 lakh and 40 sq km land. The notification implies that the panchayats in the villages will stand dissolved.

In April, a petition was filed seeking a stay against the government proposal to include the villages in VMC. The petition was scheduled for hearing on Jun 26. However, after the government notification on June 18, the villagers submitted an amended petition seeking to quash the government notification. The revised petition seeks to quash the government notification. The state government is expected to submit a response to the petition challenging the notification by July 9.

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