Standout village with solar lamps, large hospital
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Piraman, the village where Congress leader Ahmed Patel grew up, stands apart from other villages in the neighbourhood.
Part of the Ankleshwar Assembly segment of the Lok Sabha seat of Bharuch, and situated next to Ankleshwar industrial township on the banks of the Narmada, this village has metalled roads, an assured drinking water supply through taps, solar-powered street lights and medical facilities comparable to those in any city, much of it made possible with the high-profile Rajya Sabha MP's local area development funds. Almost all the village's streets and all its mohallas have signs in Gujarati. The panchayat has also set up a 5,000-litre reverse osmosis plant.
And the village has an underground sewerage system, something that even Rajpipla, the headquarters of the adjoining district of Narmada, does not have. Piraman is in Bharuch district and is three kilometres from Bharuch town. Its population of 7,500 includes approximately 65 per cent Muslims, with the rest made up of Adivasis, upper caste Hindus and some Christians.
Besides a government primary health centre, the village has a large hospital run by HMP Gramya Vikas and Kalyan Foundation. A plaque in front of the hospital reads: "HMP Gramya Vikas and Kalyan Foundation has been set up in memory of Reliance Industries founder Dhirubhai Ambani and was inaugurated by Ahmed Patel on June 13, 2011." The hospital has three doctors, OPD facilities and a pathology laboratory, and provides medical and laboratory services free. The foundation also runs a mobile clinic, with one of the doctors taking free services to tribal villages in Jhagadia, Walia, Ankleshwar and Vagra blocks. The hospital has held several free eye-surgery camps in the tribal belt of the district.
Piraman's sarpanch Waseeullah Patel confirms that the metalled roads were constructed from Patel's MPLAD funds. Patel, however, rarely visits the village these days.