Property Prices shooting up in Vishakhapatnam

After City of Nawabs, Hyderabad, the real estate boom is now to visit the port city of Visakhapatnam. Needless to say, the real estate is really zooming here in the wake of new developments. Skyrocketing land prices in Visakhapatnam go through the rooftops, surprisingly beyond the reach of the lay man.

There is a sudden fall in the demand for land pieces in Visakhapatnam, which is further believed to have fuelled because of the political focus shifting to development of separate Telangana state. Consequently, this added to land prices in Hyderabad and the attention of property developers quickly got diverted to Visakhapatnam.

Property developers, apart, group of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) promising handsome investments have now turned their heads towards the port city. With the result, land prices have spiraled by 50 to 75% in the past two months. What further boosted the rising land prices was the allotment by the State Government of vast stretches of valuable land to industries, software companies and development of Special economic zones (SEZs).

Visakhapatnam has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and improvements can be seen in every sector in the city. Here, the land prices range in between Rs.8, 000 to Rs.10,000 per square yield. In the major locations like Dwarkanagar, it is as high as Rs. 30,000 to 40,000 per sq yard times, with the development of several IT units and also the sanction of several new industrial parks such as Brandix Apparel City.

The Visakhapatnam Port has been the best port in the country from the past of years for handling as much as 55 million tones of cargo during 2005-06. This even though Volks Vagan’s decision to backtrack from its proposal of setting up an automobile unit in the city caused a temporary delay.

Property prices in Visakhapatnam got doubled in a span of a year. The most popular area is the stretch along the beach, Rushikonda to Bheemunipatnam. The market value of an acre near to Bheemunipatnam is around Rs. 60 lakh and the registration value is in the order of Rs. 9 to Rs. 15 lakh. Indeed, the registration value pushed to 75 per cent from 50 per cent from August 2006.

I find this news quite interesting from the point of view of making investments in Visakhapatnam. Can anyone shed more light on the property trends in this city.

Waiting for your replies friends.
Read more
302 Replies
Sort by :Filter by :
  • CBI books PNB officials, Infrastructure company for four crore loan fraud U Sudhakar Reddy| TNN | Jul 3, 2018, 06:04 IST Representative image

    HYDERABAD: Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a cheating case against five people, including two officials of Punjab National Bank and a Jubilee Hills-based Infrastructure Company. The accused duped the bank of Rs4 crore by pledging non-existing land in Vizag as collateral security and siphoned off the loan amount.

    In the FIR lodged on June 30, CBI named former chief manager, PNB Musheerabad branch, DP Dash, SVM Projects Pvt Ltd managing director Kandula Srinivas, director V Sanyasi, guarantor V Chandrakanth, panel advocate of PNB Musheerabad branch KV Sreedhar. The accused are all residents of Vishakapatnam and Vizianagaram. The infra company offices are located at Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.

    Accused D P Dash processed the loan application and sanctioned Rs3.75 crore in September, 2013 in favour of SMV Projects against the primary security of construction materials and iron ore and vacant land of 1.32 acre in Madhurawada village in Vizag as collateral security. The loan amount has turned into a nonperforming asset (NPA) of Rs3.94 crore.

    Internal investigation conducted by the bank revealed directors and guarantor of the infra company siphoned off funds in connivance with DP Dash and caused losses to the bank. The investigation also revealed the panel advocate allegedly connived with borrowers and bank officials and gave a false search report to avail credit facilities. The loan amount received by accused was transferred to a fake account and diverted for other purpose. The property at Madhuravawa, which was offered as collateral security for mortgage of land did not exist.

    It’s alleged banking officials didn't scrutinise financial data of the company. Also, it had a ghost director, with the name F V Sanyasi. Directors opened a fictitious account in the name of Digvijay Mineral and siphoned off funds.

  • PLIS to start pumping water into Yeleru on Thursday
    Umamaheswara Rao | TNN | Updated: Jul 5, 2018, 10:17 IST

    Due to the reduced water supply from Yeleru during the summer months, the duration of water supply to the households is decreased

    VISAKHAPATNAM: The stage is set for the pumping of water from river Godavari to the Yeleru reservoir through the Purushothapatnam lift irrigation scheme (PLIS) on Thursday. As part of the project, water from the Godavari would be diverted to Polavaram left main canal (LMC) and thereafter into the Yeleru reservoir. It is learnt that the pumping will start with about 1,400-1,500 cusecs on Thursday from Purushothapatnam.

    A lion’s share of water for Vizag city is drawn from the Yeleru reservoir. However, the reservoir has not reached its full level in recent years. The Greater VisakhapatnamMunicipal Corporation (GVMC) was thus compelled to pump water from the Yeleru reservoir into the Yeleru canal once the water levels in the reservoir dipped below the 71.5-metre range or when the reservoir is determined to have only dead storage during the summer months.

    Otherwise, the water flows by gravity into the Yeleru canal and thereby to Vizag. Due to the reduced water supply from Yeleru during the summer months, the duration of water supply to the households is decreased and several industries are forced to operate at reduced capacity. According to a GVMC official, the water from PLIS will flow by gravity along 50.2 km of the project. “From there, the water will be pumped through two pipelines. The pumping is expected to start with 1,400-1,500 cusecs at Purushothapatnam based on the availability of water in the Godavari. About 700 cusecs will be pumped into Yeleru reservoir while the other 700 cusecs will be used for other purposes. It may take two to three days before the water reaches the pumping station after flowing 50.2 km by gravity,” he said.
    According to the official, over a period of time, this will do away with the need of pumping water from the Yeleru reservoir from dead storage as the water levels will be always maintained above the dead storage with continuous water supply into the reservoir through PLIS. Once things settle down, 30 TMC of water will be drawn from PLIS for various purposes, including 10 TMC for the Yeleru reservoir. The water level in the Yeleru reservoir was 70.5 metres as of Wednesday. Once the level goes above 71.5 metres, the officials will stop the pumping from the reservoir, the GVMC official added.

  • 3 lakh houses handed over to beneficiaries across Andhra Pradesh
    TNN | Updated: Jul 6, 2018, 14:19 IST

    N Chandrababu Naidu

    VIJAYAWADA: Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, here on Thursday, launched the housewarming ceremony of 3 lakh houses across all districts in the Andhra Pradesh.

    Officials of housing corporation in respective regions handed over the houses to beneficiaries during housewarming ceremonies. This is the second big ceremony by the government after it handed over one lakh houses on October 2, last year.

    The government plans to organise another ceremony to hand over two lakh more houses on October 2, this year. It has plans to complete 19 lakh houses by March 2019.

    Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that 5,80,849 houses have been constructed under various schemes between 2014 and June this year. He said 3,03,164 houses were completed during 2017-18 at a cost of Rs 3,746 crore.

    He also informed that housing beneficiaries include 57,296 SCs, 24,332 STs, 1,43,005 BCs, and 75,713 from other castes across the state.

    Alleging that the previous Congress government misused Rs 4,150 crore in housing schemes, Naidu said the TDP government has been completing houses to provide a permanent shelter to the poor. He said that while the state spent Rs 6,260 crore towards housing so far, the central government allotted only Rs 1,296 crore. He said the state is committed to provide housing as a gift to women to enhance their respect in the society.

    Earlier, minister for rural housing, Kalava Srinivasulu, said that transparency has been maintained in housing schemes, and payments have been made online through National Payments Corporation of India to the accounts of housing beneficiaries. He said the opposition parties are making baseless allegations on housing scheme. Srinivasulu further said the AP State Housing Corporation completed 39 years on Thursday.

  • Vizag local body moves to end sewerage problems in ABD area
    Umamaheswara Rao | TNN | Jul 6, 2018, 23:48 IST

    Visakhapatnam: The sewerage network in the area-based development (ABD) part of the city (ward numbers 17, 18, 19 and 20) is set to undergo a major transformation under the Smart City mission. The state government on Friday directed Greater Visakhapatnam Smart City Corporation Limited (GVSCCL) to issue a letter of acceptance to the successful bidder, who quoted Rs 56.6 crore for the project.

    A detailed study carried out earlier by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), identified some 8.8 km of missing links of sewerage network within the ABD area. This is apart from the 7.1 km missing link in Jalaripeta. About 70% households in the area are connected to the underground drainage network system. The remaining are attached to the existing storm water network, which is discharged into the sea. The project aims to address all these gaps.

    Once the project is completed, a total of 3,100 households in the area, which were out of UGD network, will be linked to the sewer network. The project will also give a facelift to several pumping stations, and sewerage treatment plants in the area, as well as in the vicinity.

    GVMC commissioner and GVSCCL managing director, M Hari Narayanan, informed that all the households of the ABD will be provided with a sewerage connection under the project. “The connected STPs will be retrofitted to ensure the quality of discharges is as per Central Pollution Control Board norms,” said Hari Narayanan.

    The two existing sewerage treatment plants in the ABD area — 25 million litres per day (MLD) STP near Appughar and 38 MLD STP near Lakshmi Talkies — will be technologically upgraded to make sure the discharges meet the CPCB standards. These two plants will also be completely automated.

  • City gets hi-tech speedbreakers Sumit Bhattacharjee
    VISAKHAPATNAM, JULY 07, 2018 00:00 IST
    UPDATED: JULY 07, 2018 05:25 IST

    The new speedbreakers on beach road in Visakhapatnam.C.V. Subrahmanyam ‘Fitted with LED lighting, they can be spotted from a distance’
    Two weeks ago a youth riding a sports bike at a high speed on beach road in the city survived a near fatal accident, when he lost control over his bike after it went over a speedbreaker. The youth later narrated that he did not spot the speed breaker in the night.

    There have been many such incidents in the past when speedbreakers that are supposed function as speed and rash driving check on motorists turned out to be killers, mainly because the drivers were not able to spot them on time.

    To tide over this issue the City Traffic Police on Friday rolled out a new system of speedbreakers fixed with LED lighting on beach road.

    Pilot project

    Inaugurating the speed breaker, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Kinjarapu Prabhakar said “this is a pilot project and depending on its success it will be replicated across the city.” Designed by Embedded Infra Tech, start-up, the metal speedbreaker is fitted with LED lighting and can be spotted from a distance.

    Moreover, what makes the speedbreakers unique is that it also comes in aid of the pedestrians.

    “On each side of the speedbreakers, which are placed near the zebra crossing, there is a push button. The moment the pedestrian pushes the button orange light will turn red, suggesting a caution that someone is walking across the zebra crossing. Once through, the orange light will start flashing again,” said Mr. Prabhakar.

    According to the ACP, this system will be observed for the next few weeks and depending on its success, the department will ask GVMC to replicate it across the city.

    Speedbreaker is connected to a regular power source and also has option for solar energy.

    One of its kind

    The technology used in the speedbreaker technology is one of its kind, said Rama Krishna Yellapu of Embedded Infra Tech.

    This system has two speedbreakers spread over a distance of about 25 metres on both sides of the road. While first one serves as cautionary, the other is the final check, he said.

    According to Mr. Rama Krishna, the moment a pedestrian presses the push button, the first speedbreaker with orange light will serve as cautionary and the next one near the Zebra crossinG will turn red, suggesting the motorist to stop.

    This makes the system one of its kind and no driver can miss the primary signal that is embedded on the road in front of him, Mr. Rama Krishna said.

  • GVMC extends biomining to 20 more acres at city’s Kapuluppada dump yard

    Umamaheswara Rao | TNN | Updated: Jul 8, 2018, 00:14 IST

    Visakhapatnam: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), which started biomining of garbage on a five-acre land in its Kapuluppada dump yard, will now extend the process to another 20 acres.

    But unlike the five-acre bio-mining, which was undertaken by the Coromandel Fertilizers under its corporate social responsibility initiative, the GVMC will be using its own funds for the bioremediation of garbage on the 20 acres. GVMC officials expect the initiative to cost around Rs Rs 30 crore to the exchequer.

    Kapuluppada dump yard, located some 30 kilometres away from the city, has been the site of waste disposal since 2001. It is estimated that about 2.5 lakh metric tonnes of garbage is accumulated in the 25 acres. If the rate at which garbage is dumped at this site continues for another few years, the GVMC may run out of space and may be forced to find another place to dump the city’s garbage.

    GVMC chief medical officer Dr A Hemanth said that a significant portion of the funds is expected to be sanctioned under Swachh Bharat Mission and Swachha Andhra Corporation. “The request for proposal (RfP) for the project was recently issued. The process will come with many environmental benefits. Besides helping the corporation reclaim dump yard space, it will help reduce groundwater contamination and minimise emissions,” said Dr Hemanth.

    The private agency, which was involved in the five-acre bio-mining, recently put the bio-fertiliser made out of the process on display at the ‘sixth regional workshop on star rating of garbage-free cities’ conducted in Visakhapatnam in May.

    The CMO further added that they are planning to complete the 20-acres bioremediation within two years, while, revealing, that the five-acre biomining will go on for about five years.

    Meanwhile, the 15 MW waste-to-energy plant is expected to be completed by December that is expected to pave the way for 100% scientific waste processing. This will also reduce the burden on the dumping yard.

    The Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 mandates local bodies to allow only unusable, non-recyclable and non-reactive inert waste to go to sanitary landfill. The local bodies shall investigate and analyse all old open dumpsites and existing operational dumpsites for their potential of bio-mining and bioremediation.

  • Work on street beautification likely to begin within a month
    Umamaheswara Rao | TNN | Jul 9, 2018, 02:52 IST

    Visakhapatnam: Greater Visakhapatnam Smart City Corporation (GVMC) commissioner and Greater Visakhapatnam Smart City Corporation Limited GVSCCL managing director M Hari Narayanan chaired a stakeholders’ meet with representatives from police and APEPDCL departments, APSRTC, BSNL etc. over the proposed ‘Beautification of Streets’ project on Saturday at the GVMC office.

    Tenders were recently finalised for the Rs 140 crore project, which will give a makeover to 16 roads, spanning 19.5 kilometres in the area-based development part of the city — wards 17, 18, 19 and 20.

    According to officials, works are likely to begin in the next one month.

    Officials discussed how to manage traffic, bus services, electrical poles and other utility services along the routes, which will be under work. A few officials suggested carrying out the works during night hours to prevent inconveniencing the public.

    Earlier, the GVMC had planned on taking up the ‘smart streets’ project on a pilot basis in 7 kilometre arterial road in Peda Waltair and Chinna Waltair. However, after the project failed to elicit any response from bidders owing to its complexity, the GVMC reworked the project into a street beautification-enterprise.

    Some of the roads that will be covered under the street beautification project include Waltair main road, China Waltair Road, Harbour park road, Vuda office road, Polamamba temple road to beach road via Chest Hospital, KPPM School to beach road, Nowroji road, etc.

    Based on the complete streets concept, these roads will have clearly demarcated spaces for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The streets will get increased green cover and adequate lighting during night through pedestrian lights. The streets will also serve the objective of providing multiple mobility options to its citizens. Some dedicated spaces for bus stops, seating areas and others will also be created.

  • Streets in over 4k villages of 5 dists to go dark if discom pulls the plug
    V Kamalakara Rao | TNN | Jul 11, 2018, 00:50 IST

    Visakhapatnam: Streets of many villages in the five north-coastal districts will soon be left in the dark if the city-based Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) decides to impose power cuts in the villages as a final recourse to handling the mounting electricity bill arrears that are owed by these panchayats.

    According to the sources, almost 90% of 4,000 odd villages will be affected if the discomtakes a decision to cut power to the street lights. Each village has nearly 50 to 150 street lights depending on the size of the village and population. Overall, the discom has nearly five lakh street lights in all villages.

    Village sarpanches are solely responsible for making payments for the power bills, but they have not been doing so for years, citing various reasons like lack of funding from the government. Power consumed for civic facilities like street lights, water supply pumps, and sarpanch offices are considered for electricity bills against the panchayat’s name.

    According to the discom’s figures, all major and minor panchayats, municipal corporations, municipalities and NTR Sujala Scheme in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari districts owe power bill arrears to the tune of Rs 636.8 crore and the collection stood at a mere Rs 43.76 crore till June.

    “We have to get a lion’s share of the power bill arrears from both major and minor panchayats in the discom limits,” said HY Dora, chairman and managing director of EPDCL.

    Both major and minor panchayats owe power bills to the tune of Rs 621.60 crore against the total arrears of Rs 636.8 crore from five government departments.

    “The discom got only Rs 11.81 crore from the major and minor panchayats up to June 2018. This is the situation from the panchayats. So, as a strict enforcement measure, we are planning to implement power cuts in the panchayats that fail to pay power bills for at least this current month. We are not asking them to pay the arrears, we are just asking them to pay the bills for the current month,” Dora told TOI.

    Discom sources said major and minor panchayats have been getting funds directly from the Centre through the 14th Finance Commission from April 2017. As per the rules, 25% of the funds should be used for power bill payments, but the sarpanches are not doing it and are instead learnt to be diverting funds.

    “Sarpanches are diverting the funds for their own political purposes and other works instead using the money to pay power bills. The government should take it seriously and ensure that the power bill arrears to the discom are cleared,” said a senior discom official.

    Discom sources said they are observing the payments from the month of June. The village sarpanches are supposed to make payments of the June bill in the month of July. If the sarpanches do not do so, the discom officials will start seriously considering implementation of power cuts to the street lights effective from August as a last resort in order to force the panchayats to pay up.

  • Gadkari outlines river inter-linking projects SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
    VISAKHAPATNAM, JULY 13, 2018 00:00 IST
    UPDATED: JULY 13, 2018 05:12 IST

    WAPCOS to verify land requirement for Polavaram
    Asserting that completing Polavaram project is top most priority for the Modi Government, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari has outlined two important projects as part of six river connectivity projects.

    One of them was utilising Indravati surplus water and Polavaram backwaters linking Krishna, Pennar and Kaveri, he said addressing a meeting of BJP leaders here on Thursday.

    In the project estimated to cost Rs. 50,000 crore, 700 tmc ft to 800 tmc ft could be saved reaching the tail-end areas of Tamil Nadu solving the dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and benefiting the entire South. This would be in addition to the Polavaram project, he said.

    Another project is taking water to Nagarjunasagar and from there to Somasila for which the DPR was ready, Mr. Gadkari said.

    Cabinet approval

    The two projects were sent to Union Cabinet for approval and they would by and large solve the water problems in the South, the Minister said. On the land required for Polavaram project almost doubling, he said WAPCOS Limited, under the Ministry of Water Resources would be asked to verify the facts.

    Mr. Gadkari said he had asked the contractors to complete the civil works of the project by February.

    In view of the problem of land acquisition, he had suggested the technical feasibility of construction of a ‘compound wall.’

    The Union Minister said the cost of civil works also had gone up with the scope of work increasing in the new DPR and the previous DPR was not perfect, the Minister said.

    Work would be sanctioned in transparent and time-bound manner, he said.

    R&R issue

    Assuring that R&R issues would get top priority, Mr. Gadkari said tribals would be assured housing, education, health and skill development.

    The Minister stressed the importance of making ethanol and methanol-based fuel from agriculture produce with the ultimate by diverting Rs. 2 lakh crore of the Rs. 8 lakh crore import bill of crude oil to agriculture.

    MP K. Haribabu said the Government of India itself would appoint a committee to study feasibility of location in the place of Dugarajapatnam port.

    The Government of India’s request to suggest alternative to the State Government did not elicit any reply, he said.

    To address the concerns over DCI privatisation, Mr. Gadkari had taken special interest to see that it was in government sector.

    Minister of State for Shipping P. Radhakrishnan wanted the South to send more MPs to form the government again.

    Minister of State for Shipping M.L. Mandaviya said change in several sectors and development were happening in India because of the Modi Government.

    A representation was submitted by Polavaram Nirvasita Samkshema Sangham.

    Party senior leader P.V. Chalapathi Rao, former Union Ministers Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and U.V. Krishnam Raju, BJP Floor Leader in the Assembly P. Vishnu Kumar Raju, MLC P.V.N. Madhav and BJP City president M. Nagendra participated.

  • Plea to improve road network in city SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
    VISAKHAPATNANM, JULY 13, 2018 00:00 IST
    UPDATED: JULY 13, 2018 05:12 IST

    Vizag Development Council and APATA representativesO. Naresh Kumar and D.S. Varma presenting a portrait to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday.

    Vizag Development Council and APATA represented by O. Naresh Kumar and D.S. Varma here on Thursday met Union Minister for National Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari and Ministers of State P. Radhakrishnan and Mansukh L. Mandaviya along with MP K. Haribabu and thanked him for allocating Rs. 6,000 crore for various road projects in and around Visakhapatnam.

    Mr. Naresh Kumar and Mr. Varma requested Mr. Gadkari to sanction around Rs. 1,000 crore for construction of flyovers, underpasses and foot-over bridges at important locations like Gajuwaka, Hanumanthawaka and Madhurwada junctions to decongest traffic in the city.

  • Police want CCTVCs in flats to capture street view too Prasad Nichenametla | TNN | Jul 19, 2018, 02:37 IST

    Visakhapatnam: The city police, who have asked all the apartment complexes and other buildings to install CCTV cameras in their premises, want one or two of them to be pointed in an angle that can capture a view of the street, particularly the road in front.

    The intention is to integrate these outside cameras with the police control room, which can ensure round the clock surveillance of every street and road, including those inside the colonies. The police is seeking active cooperation of the locals in this aspect.

    The cops are currently conducting a survey on the presence of private CCTV camera systems in residential colonies, especially in apartments, under various police station limits.

    “We were asked to collect the number of CCTVCs in our PS limit and also educate the residents on the importance of surveillance cameras while asking them to install the systems at the earliest,” a lady constable from the MVP police station, who was collecting the details from an apartment block in Sector-11 of MVP colony, told this correspondent.

    Property offences are on the rise in colonies like MVP, cops say. The CCTVCs, besides acting as crime deterrents, also help in solving crime and nabbing the offenders quickly through the footage they record.

    According to Fakeerappa Kaginelli, DCP (law & order 1), the AP Public Safety (Measures) Enforcement Act of 2013 makes it mandatory for establishments where 100 or more people gather, including places of worship, to install CCTVCs in their premises.

    “From the Public Safety Act point of view, it is important for the residential areas too to have CCTV surveillance. Once the survey is completed, we would have the coordinates of the buildings and an idea on the number of cameras there. We would then ask residents not having the CCTVCs to install them. If not complied, we might serve notices,” Kaginelli told TOI. “We would also assess from the data as to how many such street view cameras of apartments could be connected with the control room in future.”

    On their part, the residents welfare associations (RWAs) are willing to extend support to the move. “About 75 per cent of the apartments in our colony have CCTVCs and we are planning to have the system set up in our apartment too. The idea to have a couple of them directed towards the street is beneficial as recently a thief who was fleeing on the road from one apartment was identified with the help of one such camera installed in another apartment,” said Dr K S R Murthy, vice-president of AP Federation of RWAs and president of JR Nagar RWA in the city.

    The DCP has advised the residents to fix good quality CCTVs meeting requirements like internet protocol, a minimum resolution of 2 MP, 4X zoom, infra-red/night view abilities etc. The footage should be stored for a month for inspection of authorities when required, he added.

  • ‘Burn fat, not fuel’ is the new mantra for Vizagites who pedal around town on these jazzy new e-bikes Neeshita Nyayapati

    It was just about a month ago that the city witnessed the launch of a bike-share initiative by the GVMC Commissioner under the Smart City Project.

    | TNN | Jul 26, 2018, 10:27 IST

    It was just about a month ago that the city witnessed the launch of a bike-share initiative by the GVMC Commissioner under the Smart City Project. Fervent Vizagites – old, young and curious – have been whizzing past the city in jazzy, neon-coloured bicycles ever since. While it seemed like the 100 battery-operated cycles were meant as a sustainable means of commute for tourists, the project primarily intends to serve a different purpose: ‘Burn fat, not fuel’.

    Parked at four locations across the Beach Road - YMCA, Pandurangapuram, Kali Temple and Veerabrahmendra Swamy statue – these cycles can be hired at a nominal fee of Rs 10 per half an hour, after the first five days of free trial. What’s more? They have high-end features, such as a smart-lock system, GPS, puncture-proof tyres, a duty basket, and more. “I was curious about the cycles and decided to try one out recently. I downloaded the app and realised the cycle unlocks with the help of a QR code,” says short-filmmaker Ram Sekhar from the city. “I loved the cycles, they’re fun to ride,” he adds.

    Though regular cycles have been available for rent by the beach for some time now, they haven’t received the same traction as e-cycles. So, what makes these cycles so different from the usual ones? Anil Kumar, a graphic designer from the city, says, “These e-cyc;es are much more difficult to pedal than your regular cycles. You need to put in effort to pedal the cycle as it’s much tighter. It is however, comfortable to sit on. Once you begin to ride, burning calories won’t be too difficult.”

    The extensive exercise that e-cycles provide help lose weight faster, according to Edris Kamali, an Afgani student. “They’re amazing for burning calories because of the way they’ve been built and I am sure regular cycling will help increase the metabolism rate. Aided with a proper diet, I think these cycles are sufficient for me to reach my optimal weight and stay fit,” he adds.

    It’s not just the health enthusiasts who’ve gotten all pumped up about the e-cycles. It has been welcomed by those who advocate sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives as well. Calling the inculcation of these cycles a “welcome change”, Ram Sekhar says, “Major cities worldover have adopted cycling as a common means of transportation, but in our country, it is something that has been looked upon and not given enough importance to. But, with the authorities launching e-cycles for a nominal price, things are bound to change for the better, both for our own personal health and the health of our environment.”

  • Check littering during Simhachalam event, say green activists Sulogna Mehta | TNN | Jul 25, 2018, 23:32 IST

    Visakhapatnam: More than two lakh people are expected to do Giripradakshina (circumambulation around the Simhachalam hills) on Friday. Given the previous years’ trends, environmentalists are apprehensive of the massive plastic pollution in the city on the day of Giripradakshina from littering of lakhs of water sachets on the Giripradakshina route.

    Supply of four-five plastic water sachets to each devotee during such mass processions going on throughout the day would leave eight-10 lakh non-biodegradable plastic pollutants in the ecosystem and around half of these will definitely land up on the beaches and sea besides polluting the ecologically sensitive Simhachalam hills, Sohan Hattangadi, an environmental and heritage activist, said on Tuesday.

    Environmentalists have requested the district civic administration to put a check on the mass use of plastic sachets on July 27. Either devotees can carry their own bottles and fill those bottles if GVMC supplies water from large containers or tankers kept by the road and hillside at regular intervals in the 32-kilometre Giripradakshina route, they said.

    “We are in a state of environmental emergency. We cannot take plastic pollution lightly anymore. Lakhs of people attending Giripradakshina would be leaving four times more plastic water sachets that would pollute the land, beaches and seas. We must treat this as an emergency. Not a single plastic packet of water must be supplied. Devotees can bring their own water or GVMC can arrange supply from large water containers. In the past, NGOs have encouraged devotees to carry their own bottles and we could stop the distribution of sachets in 2016,” Hattangadi said.

    “Even if an army of municipal workers clean up the water-sachet route later, most of these sachets would end up in garbage dumps, geddas and drains given Vizag’s recycling system, which is not streamlined,” he added.

    Environmentalists suggested the GVMC commissioner and the health and sanitation wing of GVMC to curtail this plastic pollution by adopting alternative measures to supply water instead of allowing distribution of plastic sachets and bring about behavioral change at least in some section of the population.

  • GO on plastic ban soon: pollution board official

    VISAKHAPATNAM, AUGUST 03, 2018 00:00 IST
    UPDATED: AUGUST 03, 2018 05:29 IST

    Producers of single usage plastic material below 50 microns will be charged if they fail to ensure proper disposal, says APPCB Member-Secretary Vivek YadavK.R. DeepakK_R_DEEPAK ‘

    Only 10 % material being recycled in the State’

    The State government is framing rules for enforcing the ban on use of plastic with a thickness of less than 50 microns.

    “We are in the process of issuing a GO as the State is gearing up to wage a war against use of plastic and erratic disposal of biodegradable waste,” AP Pollution Control Board Member-Secretary Vivek Yadav told reporters on the sidelines of a workshop, ‘Beat the Plastic Pollution,’ here on Thursday.

    Producers of single usage plastic material below 50 microns would be charged if they failed to ensure proper disposal after use. Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh had already stipulated the extent of punishment for those defying the ban, Mr. Yadav said.

    To a question, he said only 10% of the plastic used was being recycled in the State and called for more organisations to recycle plastic material.

    Regional offices

    Mr. Yadav said they would be opening regional offices of APPCB in Kadapa, Prakasam, Srikakulam and Anantapur districts. Existing manpower would be redeployed.

    He said they were getting ready to implement new rules being adopted for the Coastal Regulation Zone.

    Asked to comment on industrial pollution in Visakhapatnam, he the pollution levels were being monitored on a regular basis. Problems with regard to building a new common effluent treatment plant for the units located in the AP Special Economic Zone, Atchutapuram were being sorted out. Now the units were discharging their effluents through the facility developed by Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City, Parawada.

    Producers of single usage plastic material below 50 microns will be charged if they fail to ensure proper disposal after use

    Vivek Yadav

    APPCB Member-Secretary

  • Visakhapatnam to get bigger, adds 1,200 sq km An area of about 6,760 square kilometres will now come under the purview of VMRDA as opposed to the 5,573 square kilometre jurisdiction of VUDAUmamaheswara Rao | TNN | August 04, 2018, 16:00 IST

    VISAKHAPATNAM: In a fillip to urban development in north coastal Andhra region, the AP cabinet on Thursday gave its nod to constitute the Visakhapatnam Metro Region Development Authority (VMRDA), which will replace the existing Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA).

    An area of about 6,760 square kilometres will now come under the purview of VMRDA as opposed to the 5,573 square kilometre jurisdiction of VUDA. Spread over four districts including Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari, VMRDA will cover 50 mandals and 1,340 villages. As per the census 2011, the population of VMRDA area was 52.9 lakh which has now increased to around 60.5 lakh.

    Speaking to TOI, VUDA vice-chairman P Basanth Kumar said that they are awaiting the complete details from the government as to the formation of the VMRDA and its jurisdiction. “The state government will release two orders – one is to constitute the VMRDA and the second one is to notify the VMRDA area. All this process will likely take about 10 days,” said Basanth Kumar. Even though the VMRDA was announced back in 2014, the process was delayed due to difference of opinion over merger of new areas. VMRDA would now emerge as the second largest urban development authority in Andhra Pradesh after the Capital Region Development Authority.

    Any Metropolitan Development Authority is generally headed by the chief minister of the state as the chairman. However, it is expected that the state government would nominate an MLA or MP for the chairman post. Several MLAs and MPs of the region are pinning their hopes of being appointed as VMRDA chairman.

    The new urban body may get 16 nominated directors – four from each of the four districts, where its jurisdiction will spread.

    Prior to VUDA, the Town Planning Trust has existed since 1962, to implement developmental activities in and around Visakhapatnam. The TPT was upgraded and Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority was constituted in 1978 with its jurisdiction extending over Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation and four municipal towns namely Vizianagaram, Bheemunipatnam, Gajuwaka and Anakapalli, comprising an area of 1,721square km. The jurisdiction was increased from 1,721 square km to 5,573 square km in 2008.