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- Polypropylene products are being sold as ‘jute bags’ in Visakhapatnam This year’s World Environment Day theme, Beat Plastic Pollution, motivated many cities and states to take steps to curb usage of single-use plastics, which includes polythene bags, plastic glasses, plastic cups, water packets, straws etc.
TNN | Updated: Sep 27, 2018, 10:04 IST
Photo for representative purpose only
VISAKHAPATNAM: This year’s World Environment Day theme, Beat Plastic Pollution, motivated many cities and states to take steps to curb usage of single-use plastics, which includes polythene bags, plastic glasses, plastic cups, water packets, straws etc.
In the same direction, the city administration has also banned usage of polythene bags in local Rythu bazaars — a move that was appreciated by environmental enthusiasts, academia and others.
While polythene bags have been banned, it becomes essential to check what the existing feasible alternatives to plastic are. While majority of citizens are aware of cloth and jute bags, a new and unexplored set of bags called China jute bags have entered the Rythu bazaars.
These bags come in different shapes, sizes and textures, and are being sold as jute bags or cloth bags by the merchants.
S Ravi Kanth Reddy, founder president of MEECONS, who has researched on the issue and conducted many workshops on plastic awareness in schools, colleges and communities, says these are not cloth or jute bags as being said.
“These non-woven polypropylene bags are made by thermally heating threads of polypropylene (a type of plastic), thus getting a porous fabric, like that of cloth.
“This makes everyone believe that these are cloth bags and are easily degradable. However, consumers are not aware and are falling to such attempts by purchasing these bags without hesitation. Many super markets and shopping malls are also giving these bags to their customers,” he noted.
“Indeed, whether to include these non-woven PP bags under the ambit of plastic bags has been deliberated at high courts and even at the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
“In 2009, a consortium of plastic industries filed a petition in the Delhi high court to exclude the non-woven PP bags from the ban as they come under textiles and not plastic.
“The court dismissed the petition and ordered that as per the nature of the bag’s material, which is pure plastic and also not biodegradable, they should also be banned like any other plastic bag.
“A similar order was also given by the NGT in 2016, in which it specifically mentioned complete prohibition of any kind of plastic carry bag(s) including non-woven material of polypropylene in Chandigarh and some other areas,” Reddy added.
Anil Choudary, founder of Green Waves Environmental Solutions, an authorised start-up to recycle waste, agrees. “China jute bags are worse than plastic as they do not decompose. Hence, one fact that is to be noted is these non-woven PP bags are made of plastic and are not biodegradable. So, one thing we should stop is promoting them as cloth bags or biodegradable bags,” he said, while adding that they are making cloth bags with waste or unused cloth to encourage people to use ecofriendly bags.
- GVMC to breathe life into Mudasarlova’s catchment Umamaheswara Rao
The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), which has embarked on various projects to improve its water storage capacity, will now set about rejuvenating the Mudasarlova reservoir’s catchment area.
| TNN | Sep 29, 2018, 09:00 IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), which has embarked on various projects to improve its water storage capacity, will now set about rejuvenating the Mudasarlova reservoir’s catchment area.
Due to anthropogenic activities such as constructions and encroachments, water storage capacity of the lake had come down by about half of its original capacity over the years.
Apart from enhancing the soil and water conservation, the project will also improve the green cover of the reservoir as well as groundwater recharge through various measures. The reservoir was constructed and completed in 1902 during British rule. The bottom of the reservoir has also become heavily silted, which has also affected the storage capacity of the reservoir.
About Rs 2.6 crore will be spent on the project. Three main colonies in the vicinity encroached upon the catchment area, which contributes to the majority of the pollution of the lake. Some settlements found near the foothills of Simhachalam hills have also been responsible for pollution of the reservoir.
The Mudasarlova reservoir is situated near Arilova Health City between Kailasakonda, Kambalakonda and Simhachalam hills. About 1 million gallons per day (MGD) of drinking water is drawn from the reservoir and is supplied to about 6.000 households in the vicinity. Due to the decreased storage capacity and catchment area, the reservoir is the first water source of the GVMC to dry up during the summer. The Mudasarlova Park located next to the lake is one of the oldest parks of Andhra Pradesh.
Apart from desilting the lake bed and turfing the bund, the drains joining the lake inlet will be refurbished. Rainwater harvesting structures will be developed in all the public buildings in the catchment area of the reservoir. Contour trenches are proposed under the foothills of Kailasagiri and Kambalakonda. The lake area will get about 10,000 plants, the majority being native and medicinal plants, to improve the greenery.
A water level sensor is also proposed in the lake to gauge the daily water level changes. The proposed desilting activity is expected to improve the water storage capacity by about 26%.
A GVMC official informed that the project will be funded by the Asian Development Bank under the Vishakhapatnam Chennai Industrial Corridor Development Program (VCICDP). “The GVMC has recently spent about Rs 20 lakh on the desiltation works of the reservoir from its own funds,” said the official.
- 100km tracks in Waltair div to be flanked by 1L saplings V Kamalakara Rao | TNN | Sep 30, 2018, 02:35 IST
Visakhapatnam: Under the Green India Mission, nearly one lakh saplings will be planted along railway tracks under the Waltair division of East Coast Railway (ECoR). In the first phase, nearly 100 kms will be covered. The green drive aims to curb encroachment on railway land and protect the environment.
The railways has tied up with state forest department to get the plants required for the programme and tracks, which do not have any plant along them, will be given top priority in the first phase.
Work had started on a 14-km stretch in Srikakulam district on a pilot basis. Srikakulam district forest department provided 7,000 saplings to the railways for the programme. Out of which the railways and state forest department jointly planted nearly 6,000 saplings along a railway track from Tilaru to Kotabommali railway station.
Confirming this to TOI, Waltair divisional railway manager MS Mathur said they are planning to plant more trees along the railway tracks in the division. They wanted to cover 100kms tracks in important railway lines, which lack proper greenery along them.
“The drive had been taken up in some areas on an experimental basis. We would cover the rest of the tracks soon,” Mathur said while adding that the programme is being taken up as per the Green India Mission, launched by the central government.
Officials from the department of engineering, Waltair division, said the objective of this programme is to improve the rate of afforestation on railway land. Beside, the drive would also check illegal encroachment on railway land.
“Usually, people who live close to the railway tracks encroach upon the railway properties. This will be curbed,” said a railway official.
The project was successfully implemented in Haryana and Punjab. The railway board issued circulars to other zones like ECoR to adopt similar methods. The Waltair is the first division to have already embarked on the programme, the railway official added.
- Urban bodies conduct town planning meet The Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority and the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation conducted a Town Planning Open Forum on Friday.
TNN | Sep 29, 2018, 09:09 IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: The Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority and the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation conducted a Town Planning Open Forum on Friday.
The state government had recently directed all civic bodies and urbandevelopment authorities to conduct the forum on Fridays to redress public grievances on town planning issues for planned development of urban areas.
VMRDA metropolitan commissioner P Basanth Kumar and chief urban planner V Bhavani Shankar launched the forum at the VMRDA office on Friday morning. Basanth Kumar directed officials to ensure that grievances are disposed of in 15 days. VMRDA received three applications on the first day of the forum.
Several town planning wing officials have also participated in the forum. “Applicants, investors, developers and licensed technical persons can approach the officers present in the meeting for any grievance or clarity in understanding the rules regarding online approvals or any town planning issues on every Friday. The minutes of the open forum will be uploaded on the website,” said Basanth Kumar.
- Vepagunta land survey over, battle for reclamation begins Umamaheswara Rao | TNN | Oct 5, 2018, 02:56 IST
Visakhapatnam: The Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) has concluded its enumeration survey in its 144-acres of land in Vepagunta near Simhachalam.
VMRDA officials now, after the conclusion of the survey, want to seek the opinion of the government as to how they can compensate the encroachers to reclaim their land.
Even though the VMRDA had acquired the land in 1981-82 under the ‘integrated development project scheme’, some tenant ryots had approached the court, claiming ownership of the land. The cases were dismissed in the ensuing years. The VMRDA has even deposited the compensation amount of about Rs 32.3 lakh in the court.
But meanwhile, a housing colony has sprung up in about 23 acres and a 69acres are being cultivated. As per the VMRDA survey, about 270 households are scattered over the 23 acre land.
For the survey, VMRDA had constituted six teams in July to enumerate each category of land and make proposals of compensation based on their findings.
A government order (GO) released in 1990 stated that the compensation amount awarded musts be apportioned between Inamdars, i.e, Simhachalam Devasthanam and the tenants in 1:2 ratio. However, later, in another order in 2015, the state government declared the Devasthanam as the undisputed and rightful owner before the acquisition. Three writ petitions filed by the tenant ryots are still pending with the court.
The issue had been in the cold storage until Pendurthi MLA B Satyanarayana Murthy brought it up during a review meet with municipal administration and urban development minister P Narayana at the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) office in May.
A VMRDA official revealed that they had preliminarily decided to provide each household a 60 square yards land in the 144 acre land. “Once the government accords its approval to the proposal, the plotting will be done for these households,” said the official. It was learnt that out of the total 144 acres, only 47 acres is vacant and about 69 acres of land is being cultivated. Even in the 47 acres, some encroachments have been reported.
VMRDA has lost about 5.6 acre land during the construction of the bus rapid transit system road in the Pendurthi corridor. It expects that the land will open up a new development avenue for the VMRDA. As per the market trends, the land value is estimated to be around Rs 500-Rs 700 crore. VMRDA wants to take up a mixed use project in the land by providing compensation even to the encroachers.
- AMRC issues RfP to 5 bidders for Vizag metro rail project
Umamaheswara Rao | TNN | Updated: Oct 11, 2018, 00:11 IST
Visakhapatnam: The Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (AMRC), the executing agency for the Vizag metro rail project, on Wednesday issued request for proposal (RfP) and concession agreement to all five shortlisted bidders. These include Adani Enterprises Limited, TRIL Urban Transport Pvt Ltd in consortium with Tata Projects, Shapoorji Pallonji and Co Pvt Limited, Essel Infra Projects and IL&FS Rail Ltd.
The AMRC had first released the global expression of interest in September 2017 that was followed by a pre-bid meeting in Vizag in October 2017. Later, the five companies submitted bids for Request for Qualification. The Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) of the project had shortlisted all five bidders.
Speaking to TOI, AMRC managing director NP Ramakrishna Reddy said the estimated cost of the project is Rs 8,300 crore (excluding land cost). While the AP government will provide about 52% of the cost towards development of civil infrastructure, the concessionaire would have to bring in the rest of the 48% for the development of non-civic infrastructure, he said.
Reddy said the AMRC will finalise the winning bidder by February 2019. A foundation stone for the project is also likely to be laid in March 2019. A substantial part of the land belongs to the government, which helps continuing the momentum of the project. We have been requesting the state to provide us with an additional 250 acre land, apart from what is needed for the project, towards property development. A total of 39 metro stations will come up said Ramakrishna Reddy.
After the Centre observed the city had not been declared as a metropolitan area for extending the provisions of the Metro Railways Act, 1978 and the Metro Railways Act, 2002, the state in its recent order specified the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation as Visakhapatnam metropolitan area for developing the metro rail project.
Earlier, MEC had given the responsibility of ownership of the project on Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA). Despite expressing their willingness to assume the role and extend extensive handholding to the developer throughout the project, the VMRDA officials have made it clear that it will hold a very nominal financial stake considering the huge cost involved in the project.
- Electric poles may be replaced by spun concrete poles later
SRIKAKULAM: The state government is exploring the possibility of introducing a new kind of electricity pole, made of spun concrete, in Srikakulam district. The proposal would be implemented on a pilot basis on a 200km stretch of the coast in the district, state energy secretary Ajay Jain said on Tuesday. The idea behind this project is to prevent the uprooting of electricity poles during disasters like Cyclone Titli, which uprooted nearly 35,000 electricity poles in 1,800 villages in the district.
“Our focus now is to restore the power supply to all the villages, where power supply has been disrupted by the cyclone. Once this work is done, we will concentrate on the spun concrete project, which may be discussed by the government next year,” Jain told TOI.
Jain said that the cost of the metal electric pole is around Rs 2,800 each, while spun concrete pole is estimated to cost between Rs 11,800-Rs 12,000 per pole.
However, damages to spun-concrete poles is less than 5% during natural disasters, while the damage to metal poles is over 90%, said Jain. “The spun poles can withstand strong winds like was experienced during Cyclone Titli,” Jain added.
The cost of the pilot project would be around Rs 300 crore, he said, adding that it was too early to discuss the project while the power restoration work was going on.
- Traders found selling illegal plastic bags will lose licences TNN | Oct 21, 2018, 02:24 IST
Visakhapatnam: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation has decided to impose a penalty of Rs 25,000 on traders selling plastic bags, which are below 50 microns.
The civic body will collect Rs 30,000 from second-time offenders and cancel the trade license if the vendor continues to sell the product.
These decisions were taken by the GVMC to implement the ban on plastic bags of less than 50 microns.
The measures have been taken in keeping with the Plastic Management Act, 2016 (PMC-2016).
Now, wholesalers of plastic bags, shopkeepers and street vendors willing to provide plastic carry bags for dispensing any commodities in the city have to register with the corporation by paying Rs 4,000 a month as plastic waste maintenance charges.
The civic body had earlier brought out an official gazette notification, number 68/2017 to this effect. Another notification was released by the corporation on October 12 with regard to this.
The PMC 2016 hiked the minimum thickness of plastic carry bags from 40 to 50 microns to facilitate the collection and recycling of plastic waste. The provision for collecting registration fees from producers and vendors of plastic bags as part of the PMC-2016 is aimed at strengthening the financial position of the urban local bodies with regards to plastic waste management system.
- CCC smart devices all set to go live soon Umamaheswara Rao | TNN | Oct 23, 2018, 02:37 IST
Visakhapatnam: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) will soon make the smart devices, currently being integrated with the command and control centre (CCC), go live.
As part of the CCC, the GVMC has installed 50 smart poles in all zones of the city. Each smart pole will comprise of a fixed CCTV camera and one pan-tilt-zoom camera (PTZ camera), environmental sensors, Wi-Fi hotspot, emergency call system, public announcement speakers etc.
Apart from the smart poles, the GVMC has also deployed automatic number plate recognition and red light violation detection system at 10 traffic junctions in the city. An integrated traffic management system, covering 50 bus stops, 100 GPS-fitted buses and five bus terminals, is another component of the project.
Now, all these smart devices will be made operational by bringing them on to the internet fold and integrating them with the data centre. Meanwhile, the GVMC is also procuring missing components of some of the smart poles, including 38 fixed and 39 PTZ cameras, 34 public announcement systems and 35 emergency call boxes.
GVMC commissioner M Hari Narayanan said they have started connecting these smart devices to internet network and will complete the work by November to make them operational. “Already, CC cameras in 25 traffic junctions have gone live. The electricity work on these smart devices are almost done. Now, the public can access Wi-Fi hotspots at 15 smart poles of the city. We have been even receiving calls from the emergency call box systems which have gone live,” said Hari Narayanan.
Naidu had launched the smart city operations and call centre in February this year. While the primary command and control centre is located in the GVMC main office, the secondary CCC has been set up in the police commissionerate. The CCC platform can integrate data from these smart devices and leverage that data to make informed decisions.
- e-Rickshaws to be launched for solid waste management Umamaheswara Rao
The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation will introduce 60 battery-operated e-rickshaws for solid waste management in the area-based development part of the city — wards 17, 18, 19 and 20 — under Smart City project.
| TNN | Nov 5, 2018, 11:12 IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation will introduce 60 battery-operated e-rickshaws for solid waste management in the area-based development part of the city — wards 17, 18, 19 and 20 — under Smart City project.
Three battery swapping and maintenance stations will be set up for these e-rickshaws. The project has been conceptualised based on Vizag Smart City’s theme of “a resilient and healthy metropolis for people”. This will be the second e-vehicle initiative of the GVMC after the e-buses and e-rickshaws project mooted under the Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor project.
These vehicles will come with an innovative design to unload the waste from the cart into the compactor bins and mini compactors (5 feet high). The vehicles can even run in rainy season or during the rains. Besides saving on fuel costs, these e-rickshaws are expected to improve air quality to some extent.
Speaking to TOI, GVMC Commissioner M Hari Narayanan said that the state government is promoting the use of e-vehicles for solid waste management. “The e-rickshaw project was taken up under the Smart City project to keep the GVMC in sync with the state government’s initiatives,” said Hari Narayanan.
Currently, the city generates about 1,100 tonnes of garbage every day. The collected waste is first transferred to the mini transfer stations before sending it to the Kapuluppada dumping yard through the compactors and other vehicles. Now, these e-rickshaws will also come in handy for the corporation for garbage management.
- Metro will be developed on PPP model The state cabinet, on Tuesday, cleared the proposal to push forward the Metro rail project for Visakhapatnam.The cabinet approved the proposal to develop Metro rail for the port city on public private partnership.
TNN | Nov 7, 2018, 13:24 IST
Picture for representational purpose only
VIJAYAWADA: The state cabinet, on Tuesday, cleared the proposal to push forward the Metro rail project for Visakhapatnam. The cabinet approved the proposal to develop Metro rail for the port city on public private partnership.
The Metro project was initially proposed by the central government, along with one for Amaravati. The Centre had also appointed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation(DMRC) as the nodal agency, and its former managing director E Sreedharan had visited both Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada. However, due to the change of Metro rail policy by the Union government, it was found that both Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada projects were not viable, and were subsequently shelved.
The project will be implemented in PPP model, and the state will stand guarantee for financial support. The project will mobilise 8,300 crore from different sources, for which the cabinet has given approval.
- SC ban on noisy crackers falls on deaf ears as Deepavali revelers in Vizag flout norms
The Supreme Court's diktat found no takers in Visakhapatnam.
| TNN | Nov 9, 2018, 12:00 IST
On Thursday morning the streets of Vizag were filled with debris of crackers burst on Diwali night. GVMC workers had their task cut out as heaps of empty cartons, burnt sparklers, sticks of rockets, plastic cover etc., had to be cleared. It was obvious that the Supreme Courts diktat to burst noiseless green crackersbetween (8pm-10pm) found no takers.
Keerthana Gedela, a law student who resides in Kirlampudi, reveals that celebrations had begun in her colony right from morning. People began bursting crackers on Wednesday right from 9 in the morning. It went on till 10:40 PM or so in fact. But the real noise truly began at around 7 PM as residents flouted rules bursting loud fireworks with abandon, she says, adding, The scene was no different in the Sabbavaram locality too as an array of thousand and ten thousand walas were burst all evening. My cousin, who resides in Panorama Hills told me that despite the area being a noise free zone, the residents burst loud crackers.
The narrow lanes of Poorna Market which do not allow smoke to escape werethe worst affected by the pollution last year. But looks like the residents didnt learn any lessons, rues Trinadh Rao, who lives in the locality. Last year the smoke was so thick that we could feel it on our skin. The lanes here are so narrow, theres nowhere for the smoke to escape. It took a lot of time for the smog to clear up in the area. However, that didnt have any affect on the residents who burst crackers this year too with gay abandon. But this time around they chose to go to the main road to burst them instead of in the narrow lanes. None-the-less, enough crackers were burst to pollute the area by the evening, says Trinadh.
The citizens want the law to protect them, but they seem to be least bothered to follow the law when it comes to their own happiness, says Shiva Kumar, an activist from Viman Nagar. The residents here burst crackers from early in the evening and the whole area was filled with stagnant smoke for at least an hour, he adds.
A resident of Chinna Waltair, Dutch House Layout, Vaishali More tried to remind some residents of the SC ruling but to no avail. Whos going to come to our apartment and ask me to stop? was the refrain she was met with. Vaishali says, A neighbour burst a cracker worth Rs 1 lakh which filled up the street with smoke! When I asked him why, he said it is a ritual he follows every year. In fact everybody flouted the rules an burst loud crackers.
While last year, the city was covered in thick smoke for two days after the festival, the scene this year is relatively better with the stale stench of sulphur being considerably less. However, looks like the pollution only got worse this year. Lakshmi Narayan, environmental engineer of APPCB, Visakhapatnam, says, Pollution levels have marginally increased this year on Diwali when compared to last year. Theres smoke this year too, just like last year, with the PM 2.5 values increasing. Despite the SC ruling, the timings were not followed but no complaints were received. While last year, the PM2.5 values stood at a maximum of 786 and the PM10 at 963, the PM 2.5 and 10 both stand at 985 this year. PM2.5 indicates fine particulates that are more harmful than PM10 as they can enter lungs and blood stream, causing harmful effects.
Vizags humid climate accentuates the risk of health issues caused by air pollution and activists believe that banning firecrackers all together is the only solution. I believe crackers should be banned for individual use because people clearly cannot follow guidelines. Maybe the local government authority can instead plan for a colourful display for an hour or too every year instead, says Vishali.
THE FIREWORKS WERE PRETTY, BUT THESE FACTS AINT
Theres smoke this year too, just like last year, with the PM 2.5 values increasing.
While last year, the PM2.5 values stood at a maximum of 786 and the PM10 at 963, the PM 2.5 and 10 both stand at 985 this year.
PM2.5 indicates fine particulates that are more harmful than PM10 as they can enter lungs and blood stream, causing harmful effects
- Tendering for Gajuwaka & Malkapuram sewerage project gets state’s approval TNN | Nov 11, 2018, 02:32 IST
Visakhapatnam: The state government has accorded permission to the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) to call for tenders for the Gajuwaka and Malkapuram sewerage project. While GVMC will contribute Rs 350 crore towards the Phase-II project, Andhra Pradesh Urban Infrastructure Asset Management Ltd (APUIAML) will provide Rs 180 crore as term loan equivalent to funding, GVMC sources said on Saturday.
Tenders have already been finalised for phase I. The first phase work, worth nearly Rs 350 crore, will cover Pendurthi. The key component of the project includes developing tertiary water treatment technologies to supply treatedwater to industries.
In all, a total of 85,000 households in Gajuwaka, Malkapuram and Pendurthi will be given underground drainage (UGD) connections.
According to GVMC officials, the confirmed demand for treated sewerage effluent by industries was calculated as 77 MLD based on their willingness. Companies like Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited gave their in-principle approval to using the tertiary treated water, sources said.
GVMC commissioner M Hari Narayanan said the project will provide a sewerage network in the uncovered areas in the city. “It will also help in safe disposal of sewage. It increases the fresh water availability for the general public as the tertiary treated water will be supplied to the industries in place of fresh water. Moreover, the project is completely self-sustainable as the loans and operation and maintenance costs will be met from the sale of recycled water,” said Hari Narayanan.
- Work on B’puram airport likely to begin next year Siva G | TNN | Nov 15, 2018, 02:33 IST
Visakhapatnam: If all goes well, construction of the proposed greenfield airportat Bhogapuram, 60 km from the Port City, will begin in the next financial year.
All the seven bidders in the project have been asked to complete the formalities of RFQ (Request for Qualification) by November 18, after which they will have to submit the Request for Proposal (RFP) in the next 90 days.
Authorities of Zurich Airport, one of the four European bidders, are going on a field visit to Bhogapuram on Thursday.
“We have given them 90 days’ time to submit the RFP as we have four foreign firms participating in the two-stage bidding. Bhogapuram is the first airport in the country for which foreign firms have shown interest,” chief executive officer (CEO) of AP Airports Development Corporation Limited (APADCL) told TOI. The winner will develop the greenfield airport in three phases, sources said. As per estimates, the airport will have a capacity to handle around 60 lakh passengers per year in the first phase. The number would be doubled (1.2 crore) by the end of the second phase. By the time the construction of the airport is completed, it would have a capacity to accommodate 1.8 crore passengers per annum, sources said.
Phase one would be developed with an estimated cost of Rs 2,302 crore.
- Varwa threatens to move court against proposed integrated museum project TNN | Nov 15, 2018, 02:40 IST
Visakhapatnam: Members of Visakhapatnam Apartment Residents Welfare Association (Varwa) is planning to stage protests and hold awareness meets and take legal action in future against VMRDA’s plans to set up the Rs 100-crore integrated museum complex and underground parking project at the Beach Road.
The members have also raised questioned as to why the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (VMRDA) has not uploaded the minutes of the public hearing on the project, which took place last month.
During the hearing Vizagites had unanimously rejected the proposals for the project, stating that the project was unnecessary and detrimental to the coastal ecology and environment.
A V Ramana Rao, vice president of Varwa said, “We will be conducting a protestmeet at the Beach Road soon and have plans to conduct pocket meetings in various parts of the city to make the public aware about the harmful effects of constructing underground parking at an erosion-prone area close to the sea. The project will adversely impact not just residents living along the Beach Road but the city as a whole and would not be a sustainable one. No environment impact assessment study has been done for the project. As for the legal action against VMRDA’s proposed project, we have not yet finalised the course of action but it has not been ruled out. A public interest litigation (PIL) will require resource mobilization, which will take some time. However, we will support if someone comes forward to file a PIL before the judiciary.”
Vice president of Varwa also said that they will be writing to the VMRDA asking them to update the latest developments, revise the proposed project, if necessary, and also upload the minutes of the public hearing, where hundreds of people from the civil society and resident welfare associations as well as government representatives from civic and defence bodies were present.