Surat is a city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It used to be a large seaport and is now the commercial and economic center in South Gujarat, which is famous for its diamonds and textile Industries and as a shopping center for apparel and accessories. It is the eighth-largest city and ninth largest urban agglomeration in India. It is the administrative capital of the Surat district. The city is located 284 kilometers (176 mi) south of the state capital, Gandhinagar, 265 kilometers (165 mi) south of Ahmedabad, and 289 kilometers (180 mi) north of Mumbai. The city center is located on the Tapti River, close to the Arabian Sea.
Surat will be the world's fastest-growing city from 2019 to 2035, according to a study conducted by Economic Times. The city registered an annualized GDP growth rate of 11.5% 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. Surat is selected as the first smart IT city in India which is being constituted by the Microsoft CityNext Initiative tied up with IT services majors Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. The city has 2.97 million internet users, about 65% of the total population. Surat was selected in 2015 for an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant. Surat has been selected as one of twenty Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi's flagship Smart Cities Mission. In 2017, Surat was the fourth cleanest city of India, according to the Indian Ministry of Urban Development.
Data and facts
- Surat is a port city situated on the banks of the Tapi river. Damming of the Tapi caused the original port facilities to close; the nearest port is now in the Magadalla and Hazira area of Surat Metropolitan Region.
- 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%. In Surat, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
- 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 until 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 millimeters (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 until late November. Winter starts in December and ends in late February, with average mean temperatures of around 23 °C (73 °F), and negligible rain.
- Surat is the richest city in India ahead of Bangalore and Madras having highest per capita income in the country. The homes of Surat have been declared most prosperous by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and Future Capital Research’s Roopa Purushothaman in their latest study.
- World’s 95% of rough diamonds are cut and polished here. Surat’s business trade contributes to 90% of the total national export of diamonds.
- Surat has been ranked as the third cleanest city in India. In the past few years, it has always been in the top five cleanest cities in India.
The Surat Municipal Corporation is responsible for maintaining the city's civic infrastructure as well as carrying out associated administrative duties. At present, BJP is the ruling party with a majority. 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. It ranked 7 out of 21 cities for best administrative practices in India in 2014. It scored 3.5 on 10 compared to the national average of 3.3. It is the only city in India to disclose municipal budgets weekly.
Surat ranked 10th in India with a GDP of 2.60 lakh crore in fiscal year 2016 ($37 billion in 2016). Surat GDP in 2020 will be around $57 billion estimated by The City Mayors Foundation, an international think tank on urban affairs. Surat is a major hub of diamond cutting and polishing. The first diamond workshops in Gujarat appeared in Surat and Navasari in the late 1950s. Around the world, 8 out of 10 diamonds on the market were cut and polished in Surat. This industry earns India about US$10 billion in annual exports. A legacy of old Dutch trade links, it began after a Surti entrepreneur returned from East Africa bringing diamond cutters. The rough diamonds are mined in South Africa and other regions of the African continent, and go from here as smooth gems to Antwerp, Belgium where the international diamond trade is run mainly by Hasidic Jews and Jains from Palanpur in North Gujarat.
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 and Surat Zari Craft. Surat is the biggest center of MMF (man-made fiber) in India. It has a total of 381 dyeing and printing mills and 41,100 power loom units. There are over a hundred thousand 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 meters 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.
Built in 1860, Surat railway station falls under the administrative control of Western Railway zone of the Indian Railways. In early 2016, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation rated the facility the best large station in India based on cleanliness. The Sitilink or Surat BRTS is a bus rapid transit system in the city. Initiated by Bharat Shah, an additional city engineer of Surat Municipal Corporation. It is operated by Surat Municipal Corporation and as of August 2017, had a network of 245 buses connecting major localities. Surat International Airport located in Magdalla, 11 kilometers (7 mi) southwest of Surat. It is the 2nd busiest airport in Gujarat in terms of both aircraft movements and passenger traffic. Currently, airlines such as Air India, Alliance Air, AirAsia India, SpiceJet, IndiGo Airlines, Air Odisha, Ventura AirConnect provide flight services from the Surat to various major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Goa, Jaipur,Visakhapatnam. There are also running international flights for Sharjah route of Air India Express. Apart from main city, Surat Airport also caters to various localities of south Gujarat, including Navsari, Bardoli, Valsad, Bharuch, Ankleshwar.
There are many SME Domestic IT Companies present in Surat. MNC IT companies like IBM, HCL have satellite or virtual branches in Surat. On 14 February 2014, the Government of Gujarat DST had handover STPI Surat at Bhestan-Jiav Road, Bhestan Near Udhana-Sachin BRTS Route. Surat city administration will demand setting up of an Information Technology (IT) hub and an Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) on the outskirts of the city. Microsoft CityNext initiative has tied up with IT services majors Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro to leverage technology for the sustainable growth of cities in India. The first smart IT city in India is being constituted by the Microsoft CityNext Initiative in Surat, Gujarat. In 2011, Surat hosted India's first Microsoft DreamSpark Yatra (a tech event) with speakers from Microsoft Headquarters at Redmond, Washington. The event was organized by Ex-Microsoft Student Partner Samarth Zankharia. In May 2015, Tech giant IBM chose Surat among 16 global locations for its smart cities program to help them address challenges like waste management, disaster management, and citizen services. Under the program, IBM will send a team of experts to each of the chosen cities where they will spend three weeks working closely with city staff analyzing data about critical issues faced by its local bodies; the co-operation continued into 2016.