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Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

Last updated: August 6 2020
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  • #11

    #11

    Re : Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

    40% JNNURM houses vacant, 20% sold or rented

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Over two years after the government handed over the keys of nearly 8,000 low-cost houses developed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) housing scheme to the beneficiaries, a staggering 40% of the houses are still lying unoccupied.

    This, even as nearly 20% of the houses have been put on rent or sold off by the beneficiaries, while the remaining 40% are occupied by persons that the government officials are yet to identify. These are the startling findings of a recent sample survey carried out by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) department of urban community development (UCD) on the 7,964 houses handed over to beneficiaries.

    The GVMC is planning to take up a comprehensive survey soon to identify the occupants of the remaining 40% houses to find out if they are genuine or bogus beneficiaries. "The sample survey revealed that most of the houses were not occupied by the people who were handed over the keys. We have decided to conduct a comprehensive survey by visiting the houses during morning hours to check the occupants and if they are genuine beneficiaries. We will also serve legal notices to the bogus occupants on the spot itself. However, all this will take two to three months," UCD project director, MNA Patrudu, told TOI.

    According to GVMC officials, the government had sanctioned 15,320 houses under JNNURM to GVMC, since 2009. However, GVMC decided to construct only 14, 267 houses and said it would not build the remaining 1053 houses primarily due to land problems.

    So far, GVMC has been able to complete the construction of only 7,964 houses in 43 layouts and has handed over the keys to the beneficiaries since mid 2011. Another 4,757 houses are under various stages of construction.

    The cost of each housing unit ranges from Rs 1.65 lakh to Rs 1.81 lakh, depending on the size of the house. The beneficiaries of JNNURM low-cost housing project are selected based on three criteria: urban poor, rehabilitation and relocation. However, it was learnt that the reason for most beneficiaries shying away from occupying the houses was the lack of basic infrastructure like water, power, drainage, streetlights and even recreation facilities.

    According to Pragada Srinivasu, coordinator, association for regional tribal development for urban wing (ARTDUW), most of the houses were not occupied by the beneficiaries due to various reasons like lack of basic amenities, the fact that the housing sites are very far from city and lack of proper transportation facilities close to the housing project.

    One of the beneficiaries of the JNNURM housing project at Lankepalem, P Sannasamma, who also lodged a complaint with GVMC officials about lack of power and water connections in her house, said: "The GVMC commissioner assured me that it will take a month to put in place the power supply. My family had to suffer a lot of problems last summer due to lack of power and water."

    Admitting that the civic body was flooded with complaints from JNNURM housing beneficiaries on the lack of basic amenities at the weekly grievance cell, GVMC commissioner MV Satyanarayana claimed that they had provided all basic amenities such as power, tap water, streetlights to the allotted houses at the time of handing over the keys to beneficiaries but many of these were damaged due to non-occupation of houses.

    "Nearly items like streetlights, water taps and the like worth Rs 10 lakh were stolen from housing sites that are not yet occupied. We plan to restore the facilities at all allotted houses within two months," he said.







    40% JNNURM houses vacant, 20% sold or rented - The Times of India
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    • #12

      #12

      Re : Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

      Another commercial complex gutted in Visakhapatnam

      VISAKHAPATNAM: In yet another incident that raises an alarm over the lax attitude of commercial establishments towards fire safety, a major fire gutted a four-storeyed commercial complex near Rama Talkies early Saturday morning. Luckily there were no casualties as the fire broke out well before business hours.


      The blaze razed the entire ground floor of the commercial complex housing Preethi Emporium that sells household articles, even as the first and third floors were partially burnt. The second floor of the commercial complex was learnt to be unoccupied. Initial estimates peg the losses due to the blaze at around Rs 70 lakh.

      According to preliminary reports of the fire and emergency services department, the fire occurred due to a short circuit. However, the authorities are investigating the exact cause of the fire. S V Narasimham, regional fire officer (RFO), fire prevention wing, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), said that the commercial complex did not possess the required no-objection certificate from the civic body.

      Five fire tenders, including three from the city and one each from Marripalem and Visakhapatnam Port, were rushed to douse the fire that raged on for more than two hours. About 30 fire and emergency services personnel were involved in the firefighting exercise that used the services of the skylift fire tender to spray water on the top floor of the commercial complex.

      Giving details, fire officer, Surya Bagh Station, M Sanjiv Rao said, "We received a call from a passerby at around 5.40 am and rushed fire tenders to the complex. When we reached the premises, the ground floor was totally burnt and thick black smoke was emanating from the complex. Investigations will reveal the exact cause of the fire." According to Rao, there were no watchmen deployed at the commercial complex as the alert came from a passerby.

      It may be recalled that a major blaze had raged through the Sai Shopping Centre at Dwarakanagar in the second week of April for nearly one and a half hours. Fire and emergency services personnel had rescued nearly 50 people from the building.










      Another commercial complex gutted in Visakhapatnam - The Times of India
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      • #13

        #13

        Re : Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

        Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation chalks out tall task for water harvesting in Visakhapatnam

        VISAKHAPATNAM: The monsoon season is in full swing, yet the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is still struggling to put in place a proper water harvesting plan for the city. Caught napping, the civic body has now set itself a target of putting up and repairing recharge pits across the city by the second week of July to ensure that the groundwater table does not dip alarmingly during the summer months.

        But this seems to be a tall task as the civic authorities would have to deal with the nearly 6200-odd bore wells in the GVMC limits that do not have water harvesting pits (only 10% bore wells have harvesting pits) as well as over 1200 existing recharge pits in 50% of the apartment complexes in the city, of which nearly half are in urgent need of repairs. This even as the remaining 50% of apartment complexes and almost 95% of the individual houses in the city still do not have water harvesting paraphernalia in place.

        According to GVMC sources, the civic authorities were banking on the Godavari pipeline to bring waters to the city this year but as the project got delayed there was a mad scramble to put up recharge pits across the city.

        Interestingly, by GVMC commissioner MV Satyanarayana's own admission, implementing the water harvesting project in individual houses was impossible this monsoon. He, however, expressed confidence about its implementation in residential high rise buildings. "Water harvesting is compulsory and we have ensured that builders take it up seriously. Money is not a problem as we are collecting Rs 5,000 to 10,000 from each high rise. The only problem is that buildings with harvesting pits do not know how to keep them in working condition, which is where GVMC will play a major role," the GVMC commissioner said, pointing out that for the 6200-odd bore wells without harvesting pits GVMC had already allotted a particular sum as corpus fund.

        Though GVMC authorities said they were keen to implement the project on a war footing, concerned individuals and organisations feel the civic body was staring at mission impossible. According to Vikram Rathod of NGO Mission Akash Ganga, though GVMC would have collected around Rs 5-6 crore from apartment owners, the entire water harvesting plan would cost in excess of Rs 12 crore.

        According to A V Ramana Rao, secretary, Vizag Apartment Residents Welfare Association, though on paper close to 50% of the apartment complexes in the city have water harvesting pits, half of these have not been built as per stipulations and were virtually redundant. "GVMC needs to take up this project on a war footing and should be more proactive in conducting awareness programmes on a large scale to involve people's bodies as it is mandatory for every structure built over more than 200 square yards to implement water harvesting," Rao said.

        Blaming GVMC, Ground Water Board, real estate developers as well as the general public for the entire water mess, Rathod of Mission Akash Ganga said, "In most cases, either an old septic tank or a temporary pit is shown as a water-harvesting pit to get the necessary permissions for construction. The general public too seems to be least bothered about these things when the going is good and rain water fills up our reservoirs. In some cases, residents of multi-storeyed apartments have refused to implement this rule because it would cost nothing less than Rs 18,000 for a proper harvesting pit to be dug up."

        However, Rathod pointed out that the only good thing the GVMC had done for water conservation was cracking down on indiscriminate digging of bore wells by private builders.








        Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation chalks out tall task for water harvesting in Visakhapatnam - The Times of India
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        • #14

          #14

          Re : Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

          GVMC, VSP slug it out over vacant land tax

          VISAKHAPATNAM: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) and Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) look all set to lock horns once again over taxes with the civic body now gearing up to slap fresh notices demanding payment of the long-pending vacant land tax (VLT) to the tune of around Rs 64 crore. The notices are expected to be issued in a couple of weeks.

          According to GVMC sources, VSP has to pay the civic body nearly Rs 124 crore by way of VLT for the last seven years as a chunk of the over 23,000 acres of land acquired by the state-run steel major is lying vacant. The steel plant and remaining establishments, including residential facilities, are housed in an area of only around 6,000 acres.

          As part of its assessment, GVMC had identified more than 15,000 acres of VSP land that is vacant and had imposed VLT of Rs 15 crore per annum a few years ago but as the steel major was embroiled in a legal battle with GVMC, the tax amount had been piling up. It is learnt that the GVMC has already approached legal experts and is now preparing ground to issue notices.

          GVMC to serve notices on steel giant in July

          GVMC deputy commissioner (revenue) R Somannarayana told TOI that VSP owes the civic body a huge amount in the form of VLT. "GVMC's VLT demand in its entire jurisdiction is Rs 17 crore per annum, excluding the steel plant which owes the highest of Rs 15 crore per annum as per our records," he said.

          GVMC has also asked RINL-VSP to provide information on the extent of roads, parks, school buildings and temples in order to exempt these spaces from VLT. However, sources said that the VSP authorities were yet to accede to their request. "If they (VSP) provide those details, then the VLT demand can well reduce to around to Rs 30-40 crore."

          When contacted, Srinivasa Rao, zonal commissioner (Zone V), GVMC told TOI that they had sought more details from VSP so that any other structures can be exempted from VLT. "We are waiting for the details from VSP to revise the tax amount. We will serve notices next month," Rao said.

          However, VSP officials said there was a court stay on payment of property tax and that they had not received any communication from GVMC on VLT.

          This is not the first time that GVMC and VSP have got into an acrimonious spat over tax issues. The two have been locked in a legal tussle since 2006-07 when GVMC issued several notices to the steel giant and had also prepared for attachment of VSP's property for recovery of property tax dues of Rs 13.65 crore and VLT of Rs 15.52 crore.

          According to GVMC officials, VSP had countered GVMC by knocking on the doors of the high court, which ordered VSP to pay half of the property assessment tax of Rs 13.65 crore per annum till the matter was sorted out.

          Till the merger of Gajuwaka Municipality with GVMC, VSP used to pay only Rs 22 lakh per annum as property tax but with the merger of Gajuwaka Municipality and 32 peripheral areas to create the Greater Visakha in 2005, the steel plant came under the jurisdiction of GVMC, which hiked the tax demand.

          The VLT has been a bone of contention between the two warring parties. With the court making no mention of VLT payment, VSP had refused to pay the tax while GVMC has been contending that with the lack of any court directive on VLT, the steel major has to pay 100% of the VLT demand or at least 50% till the issue is resolved.

          "We have to collect pending dues from each and every establishment otherwise maintaining GVMC establishments and providing public services would become difficult. The pending amount from VSP is in crores of rupees," said a senior GVMC official.












          GVMC, VSP slug it out over vacant land tax - The Times of India
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          • #15

            #15

            Re : Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

            Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation to focus on restoring Visakhapatnam's heritage

            VISAKHAPATNAM: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has proposed to undertake four projects at a cost of Rs 43 crore to boost tourism by giving a facelift to the city while restoring its heritage and traditional richness.

            The corporation has given priority to the restoration of heritage buildings and the heritage walk in the Old City along the Bay of Bengal falling under Visakhapatnam South Assembly constituency at an estimated cost of Rs 18 crore.

            GVMC has, with the help of the Visakhapatnam chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), identified about 12 heritage structures for restoration, including Queen Mary High School, Statue of Queen Victoria, Town Hall, Reading Room and Turner's Chowltry.

            "It's a good initiative of the corporation as many of the buildings in the Old City are gathering dust because of the lack of care by the authorities concerned," said Kolluri Suryanarayana, retired professor of the department of History, Andhra University.

            Among the other key proposals is the revitalization of the 70-year-old Sardar Vallabhai Patel Market, which is popularly known as Poorna Market and is one of the biggest markets in the state, at a cost of Rs 15 crore.

            The civic body aims to develop this on the lines of the farmers' market at Mumbai. It will improve infrastructure facilities and also set up a special compost plant at the market premises to generate compost from the tonnes of vegetable waste from the market. Parking lots and recreation facilities for visitors and vegetable storage rooms are some of the other features planned.

            At present, the market is in a sorry state and lacks infrastructure. This results in a dearth of customers for the vendors there as very few people frequent the place.

            "If the GVMC's plans about Poorna Market materialize, we wouldn't worry about our income," said K Madhu, a vegetable vendor at the market. GVMC has also proposed to develop an eco-tourism project at Shambuvanipalem in zone-I of the corporation, where there is a slum at present, at a cost Rs 5 crore. The corporation hopes to draw tourists and picnickers to the place, which has the natural beauty of the hills and a lake.

            The corporation has also decided to develop the Mudasarlova park along the bus rapid transit system (BRTS) towards Simhachalam and Central Jail. The park, which is located amid hills and lush greenery, has been gaining in popularity.

            "The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) and Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda) are always in the forefront of tourism projects in the city. GVMC, which is always busy with sanitary and civil works, has mooted the projects to preserve Vizag's heritage and natural beauty as part of its city development plan for vision 2020," GVMC additional deputy commissioner (projects) B Nagendra Kumar told TOI.

            The government would fund some projects through the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme, but GVMC would have to bear the cost of the eco-friendly projects, Nagendra said.

            Sourav Dhar, one of the key persons behind the preparation of the projects, said that work on all the four tourism projects are expected to begin in 2015 and be completed by 2020.









            Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation to focus on restoring Visakhapatnam's heritage - The Times of India
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            • #16

              #16

              Re : Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

              Vuda to settle land pooling project issues

              VISAKHAPATNAM: The grievances of land owners and farmers, who joined the land pooling project taken up by Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda) at Paradesipalem, will be placed before the upcoming Vuda board meeting, said vice-chairman Dr N Yuvaraj.

              Addressing a meeting with farmers and land owners at the Vuda office here on Thursday, Yuvaraj said grievances and issues would be settled at the meeting. He said requests of a few land owners wanting to withdraw from the project and demanding return of lands will also be placed before the board for decision. The Vuda VC said that land owners allotted plotted areas in place of the land they handed over to Vuda will be as per the agreement and pending registrations of those who have already received allotments will also be completed.

              He also directed the Vuda estate officer B Bhavani Das to collect complete details from the land owners and also confirmation letters from those who want to withdraw from the scheme.

              With regard to infrastructure in the layout, the Vuda VC clarified that all roads will be laid as per the agreement and arrangements for water supply will also be taken up.

              However, the laying of underground drainage will be taken up only after settlement starts in the layout because it could be damaged due to non-utilisation if laid early, he said. Administrative officer B Nagabhushanam was among those who attended the meeting.







              Vuda to settle land pooling project issues - The Times of India
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              • #17

                #17

                Re : Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

                Desalination project hits land hurdle

                VISAKHAPATNAM: The delay in allotment of land by the state government is posing a hurdle to Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation's (GVMC) proposed desalination project.

                GVMC requires about 20 acres to launch the project at an estimated cost of Rs 80 crore. The corporation, through the project, aims to generate 10 million litres of water per day.

                A few months ago, the state government had agreed to allot land along the Bay of Bengal to the corporation. Based on this assurance, the corporation swung into action and entrusted the task of pre-feasibility study to the Andhra Pradesh Industrial and Technical Consultancy (APITCO), which submitted its report two months ago.

                However, the corporation is yet to receive a nod from the state government and is thus reluctant to move further and prepare the detailed project report (DPR) for the much-hyped project.

                "We received the work order of feasibility study on desalination project from GVMC six months ago. After conducting the study at Singapore, Dubai and even in Chennai in the country, we submitted the report to GVMC two months ago. In that report, we have mentioned that Vizag is viable for the desalination project," APITCO project associate K Lakshminarayana told TOI.

                "Though APITCO submitted the report to us, we are not able to prepare the DPR because the government has not as yet allotted the required land. We will prepare the DPR and go ahead with the project soon after getting the land. We hope that the government will give us the land fast," GVMC chief engineer B Jayaram Reddy told TOI. GVMC will first build a 10 MLD plant and then go for a 100 MLD plant, he said.

                However, official sources revealed that the government is waiting for the clearance of the GVMC merger with its neighbouring Anakapalle and Bheemili municipalities before taking any decision on land allotment for the desalination project.

                "GVMC proposed the desalination plant at Bheemili, which is not under its jurisdiction. If the merger takes place, GVMC does not need to depend on the government for the land as it will have the right to the required land in Bheemili, which has vast coastal land along the sea feasible for desalination projects," a senior GVMC officer informed.

                Senior TDP leader K Thatha Rao said that government is once again proving its inability by delaying land allotment to a useful project in the rapidly growing city. "The city needs such projects to meet the huge gap between demand and supply of water," Rao said.









                Desalination project hits land hurdle - The Times of India
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                • #18

                  #18

                  Re : Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

                  Post merger, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation to revise Visakhapatnam plan

                  VISAKHAPATNAM: With the merger of Bheemili, Anakapalle and 10 gram panchayats with Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) finally getting the green light, the civic body's city development plan (CDP) that is to be sent to the government in the next two months is now in for a major rework.

                  The preliminary draft of the CDP, which was designed to take into account the city's population and its needs for the next 15 to 20 years and made public on May 24 this year, had focused on nine key areas such as roads, water supply, urban slum development, traffic and transportation, sewerage and solid waste management at an estimated cost of Rs 6024.82 crore.

                  According to a GVMC official involved in the preparation of the CDP, the revised CDP will require an additional infusion of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 crore to focus on development in the soon-to-be-merged areas.

                  "We will have to focus on improving the road connectivity between Bheemili and Anakapalle to the city as these are far away from the city. Improving road connectivity alone would cost over than Rs 700 crore as nearly Rs 10 crore per km is required for improving or widening a road," a senior GVMC engineer said. This Rs 700 crore would be addition to the Rs 784.95 crore that is already estimated in the preliminary draft of the CDP for improving traffic and transportation in the city alone, the engineer added.

                  According to GVMC officials, there was no need to focus on water supply from the city to the to-be-merged areas as they were far from the city. While Bheemili is located 25 kms away from Vizag, Anakapalle is 40 kms away. "To lay a 300 mm steel pipeline, we have to spend Rs 4,000 per metre, which works out to over Rs 300 crore. So, we are not considering a water project for these new areas as part of the CDP revision," the GVMC engineer opined.

                  However, a senior officer from the Anakapalle municipality pointed out that GVMC would have to focus on all the civic issues in Anakapalle municipality as the municipality had not been able to develop the town due to lack of funds and weak revenue sources. "Anakapalle's annual income is hardly 2% as compared with that of GVMC," he said. Similarly, Bheemili municipality garners annual revenues of around Rs 5 crore. It may be mentioned that GVMC's revenue receipts for 2012-13 was Rs 572 crore and its expenditure was Rs 437 crore.

                  Senior TDP leader Kona Thatha Rao pointed out that GVMC will have to spend nearly two to three times of the Rs 1500 crore it is targeting to pump into the newly merged areas to get the desired results.

                  Incidentally, GVMC spent nearly Rs 1500 crore on the 32 gram panchayats as well as Gajuwaka municipality that were merged into it in 2005. But many of these areas are yet to receive basic services from the civic body.

                  When contacted GVMC commissioner MV Satyanarayana admitted that the CDP would have to be revised once the merger is formally announced but said the civic body would not be able to take any further steps to develop the new merger areas without receiving an official order from the government.

                  Improving road connectivity alone would cost more than Rs 700 crore as nearly Rs 10 crore per km is required for improving or widening a road.










                  Post merger, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation to revise Visakhapatnam plan - The Times of India
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                  • #19

                    #19

                    Re : Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

                    Projects galore but only on paper

                    VISAKHAPATNAM: The never-ending construction of the Asilmetta-Dondaparthy flyover might finally see the light of day by the end of the month if the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is to be believed, but this is not the only project on the wish-list of Vizagites that has been dragging on indefinitely. There are many other projects that have been delayed for more than four years, leaving the residents of the City of Destiny wondering if they will ever become a reality.

                    The oldest project that comes to the mind of the denizens of the Port City is the much-hyped Dolphinarium near Sagar Nagar, which was mooted about 20 years ago, but never got beyond the drawing board. According to reports, 60 acres of land was acquired for the project and around Rs 30 lakh was spent in the following years. However, nearly two decades later, the project lies gathering dust.

                    Even as the dolphinarium remains a distant dream, another project that was planned way back in June 2005 was the Telugu Cultural and Heritage Museum atop Kailasagiri. Nearly 8 years after the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda) signed a memorandum of understanding with the World Telugu Federation (WTF), visitors to the hill are yet to catch a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage of the state.

                    According to a Vuda official, "The construction of the building has been completed and it might take another 3-4 months before it is thrown open to public. The WTF is working on installing idols and providing a voice-over describing each idol in the museum. There will be about 49 episodes."

                    Meanwhile, the foundation stone for Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) was laid in the second week of January 2007. Six years later, CPM secretariat member Ch Narsinga Rao said that the construction of the VIMS building has been completed at a cost of Rs 55 crore, but the facility is yet to open its doors to patients. In fact, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had, at a review meeting in December last year, asked the state health ministry to speed up works on the project.

                    Another high-profile project that has been stretching on with no end in sight is the Rs 452-crore, 40-kilometre Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) that was launched in the third week of February in 2009 and was expected to be completed in December 2010. Four years on, confusion reigns high on the fate of the BRTS as auto rickshaws, buses and cars vie for space in the fast lane constructed for buses to run.

                    According to the 'latest' estimations by GVMC officials, the project is expected to be completed by December 2013 as 40% of the BRTS works are pending due to land disputes.

                    Blaming the delays in various projects on the lack of efficiency in contract management within the bureaucracy, former bureaucrat E A S Sarma said, "Government bodies should enforce the contracts and any violation should be sternly dealt with by imposing penalties." He said that the lack of training to officers on drafting contracts is also causing a delay in the completion of projects.

                    Apart from these projects, Sarma pointed out that public-private-partnership (PPP) projects including Haritha Housing project, which has Rs 120 crore investments by nearly 700 property buyers stuck, have been delayed for more than 4 years.

                    Narsinga Rao said irrigation projects including Srujala Sravanthi, for which the foundation stone was laid in 2007 at Sabbavaram, along with eight proposals for irrigation of around 5000 acres of land too appear to have been forgotten.











                    Projects galore but only on paper - The Times of India
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                    • #20

                      #20

                      Re : Real Estate Trends in Vishakhapatnam

                      Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation eyes defence tech to build green toilets in city

                      VISAKHAPATNAM: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) proposes to adopt the eco-friendly bio-toilets developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization's (DRDO) to check open defecation in the city.

                      This would make Vizag the first city in the state to use such toilets in public places, though Hyderabad Sainik School (HSS) has a couple of such toilets.

                      The bio-toilets, developed by DRDO a year ago as a low-cost alternative to the flush-and-forget toilets, are part of the Rs 25 crore project of establishing public toilets at all 168 spots across the city spread across 544 sq km that have been identified as places where there is open defecation.

                      "We plan to set up bio-toilets and e-toilets - two different eco-friendly systems. We have initially planned e-toilets and finalized tenders for a couple of e-toilets. We are currently working on bio-toilets and have appealed to interested agencies to come-up with different models of the toilets. However, it will take some time to be rolled out," GVMC commissioner M V Satyanarayana told TOI.

                      GVMC has identified areas such as Fishing Harbour, Madhurawada, Gnanapuram, Peda Jalaripeta, Visakhapatnam Port, Poorna Market and Suryabagh for setting up bio-toilets in a couple of months, official sources revealed.

                      "GVMC has already given work order for the construction of four e-toilets out of the 28 it had proposed at a cost of Rs 30 lakh at locations such as Jagadamba Centre, Dwarakanagar Bus Station, Collectorate and RK Beach," GVMC chief medical officer P V Ramana Murthy said.

                      GVMC's additional deputy commissioner (projects), B Nagendra Kumar, said that the civic body is keen on getting the bio-toilets with support from sponsors or NGOs. "GVMC is ready to allocate a place if any NGO or donor is willing to bear the cost of entire bio-toilet system," Kumar said.

                      An NGO, Harshitha Foundation based at Shankar Mutt in the city, has come forward to set up two bio-toilets at Fishing Harbour in association with GVMC. "Our NGO is ready to bear the expenditure of the two toilets if the GVMC allocates a place suitable to us. We have already met GVMC commissioner Satyanarayana, who welcomed our plans and assured help from GVMC," said the NGO's secretary, R Bharat. Bio-toilets, which cost about Rs 45,000 each, are not only environment friendly but will also contribute organic fertilizers for farmers or those interested in plantations, Bharat said. "Even GVMC can use the biodegradable waste released from the toilets as manure for the ornamental plants at traffic islands in the city," he said.

                      Bio-toilet degrades and converts human excreta into usable water and methane gas in an eco-friendly manner. The generated gas can be utilized for cooking and the water for irrigation. The process involves a kind of bacteria that helps in degrading the waste and releases gas and water.

                      DRDO is said to have developed the bio-toilets for the use of soldiers deployed in the high-altitude regions of the country. Later, the Union ministry of rural development adopted the technology for use at the village level.






                      Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation eyes defence tech to build green toilets in city - The Times of India
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