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.
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  • High court quashes merger of five Bheemili fishing villages with Greater Vishakhapatnam Municipal Corporation

    Visakhapatnam/HYDERABAD: Justice Ramesh Ranganathan of the AP high court on Tuesday set aside the order of the state government de-notifying five gram panchayats of Bheemunipatnam mandal belonging to the fisherfolk community for merging them with the Greater Vishakhapatnam Municipal Corporation.

    A writ petition was filed by Yerasu Appalakonda and others who contended that the government passed the de-notification orders without giving any notice to the K Nagarapalem, Kapuluppada, Chepaluppada, Nidigattu and JV Agraharam gram panchayats. This was followed by the order of merging these areas into GVMC.

    The plaintiffs contended that GO Ms No 369 dated July 30, 2013, de-notifying these five villages be quashed with consequential effect of deleting these five villages from the operation of GO Ms No 375 dated July 30, 2013, issued by the municipal administration and urban development department for merger into GVMC.

    The judge observed that the rules mandate that a notice be given to the gram panchayats before de-notification, which was not done. Counsel for GVMC initially tried to argue that the collector is authorized to give the notice and there is no need for the government to issue such a notice. However, when the court asked for specific proceedings, they were not produced. The writ petition was then allowed recording that the officers should be more careful while furnishing information to courts.

    Secretary of the Fishermen's Youth Welfare Association (FYWA), Teddu Shankar Rao, told TOI that the government took the decision of merging the villages with the GVMC with the sole intention of appeasing some key leaders, including a minister.

    Shankar Rao said that as per the HC order, the department of panchayati raj and rural development, which had earlier released GO Ms No 369 dated July 30, 2013, to de-notify the villages, on Tuesday informed the court that it was going to take back the order.

    "Many fisherfolk in the five villages eke out a living either through traditional fishing or the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. If merged with GVMC, all the five villages will lose the benefits of NREGS and other panchayat level welfare schemes of both the state and central governments, which is why we have been strongly opposing the decision," Shankar said. When contacted, GVMC commissioner, MV Satyanarayana admitted that the villages had received a favourable verdict from the HC against the merger of the villages with GVMC.

    High court quashes merger of five Bheemili fishing villages with Greater Vishakhapatnam Municipal Corporation - The Times of India
  • Technology helps spur property tax collections: TG Vinay

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Self-assessment facility for payers and providing online payment options are the key to ensuring timely collection of property tax, said Chennai Municipal Corporation deputy commissioner TG Vinay here on Thursday.

    Speaking on the concluding day of the two-day national workshop conducted by the Association of Municipalities and Development Authorities (AMDA) on the use of information technology in property tax collection, he said IT enables civic bodies to achieve transparency. Furthermore, he said that services offered through citizen facilitation centres are also required to be made IT-effective. "The use of Geographic Information System (GIS), field surveys to identify assets of taxable properties, integration of field information with tax database, internet connectivity and other IT initiatives will influence urban local bodies to simplify property tax issues," he added.

    Pointing out the benefits of using IT, assistant commissioner of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, Bhanudas Gaikwad said that the corporation has been functioning effectively by using IT in property taxation. By adopting advanced IT mechanisms, Rs 34 crore was collected within three months, he added. The corporation has connectivity with 40 banks to collect property tax and a payment application will also be introduced next year, he added.

    South Delhi municipal commissioner Manish Gupta said that IT implementation in property tax issues will enable payers to undertake self-assessment and make payments online on a round-the-clock basis.

    Technology helps spur property tax collections: TG Vinay - The Times of India
  • Buddhist heritage sites face threat from Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region

    VISAKHAPATNAM: The proposed Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) extending from Visakhapatnam to Kakinada could well serve as an investment magnet bringing a slew of investments into the region , but the project is posing a huge threat to heritage sites, especially ancient Buddhist sites, many of which date back to nearly 2,000 years.

    Of the close to 16-18 known and suspected Buddhist sites in Vizag and East Godavari alone, at least 12 face the danger of being encroached upon and vandalised if the PCPIR goes through without the sites being salvaged first.

    More importantly, only five sites have been identified by the ministry of culture and tourism. These include Kothuru Dibbalu near Panchadarla and Bojannakonda near Anakapalle, both on the banks of the river Sharada and Pavuralakonda, Thotlakonda and Baavikonda near river Gosthani. Only two of the sites, Kothuru Dibbalu and Bojannakonda are under the control of ASI, while the other three are directly under the jurisdiction of the state ministry of culture and tourism.

    However, there are seven more sites within the PCPIR zone, including Rakshasi Metta on the river Varaha, where the ASI conducted trench digging and found roman coins and pottery, Lingarajupalem near the river Thandava and close to S Rayavaram village that is suspected to be a stepped Stupa, the cluster near Pentakota consisting of the sites Veeralametta, Seethamma Konda, Amalapuram and Bhuvikonda. Of these, sources in the archaeology department disclosed that Bhuvikonda is the oldest while Veeralametta is the largest and almost as big as Thotlakonda.

    Heritage conservationists feel that unless all these sites are properly surveyed, it would be difficult to salvage them. "Though trench digging was done and the sites were identified, they are yet to be earmarked as protected sites. More importantly, excavations at these places were discontinued for various reasons. However, even the five identified sites are being vandalised and ravaged, especially Thotlakonda, Bavikonda and Paavuralakonda, in the name of conservation and development of a Buddhist circuit," said E Rani Sarma, amateur historian and member of Intach, Visakhapatnam chapter.

    According to her, there were many more sites such as Lingaalametta and Kodavali, apart from 12 more sites mentioned in the inscriptions, journals and verifications that were yet to be touched.

    Speaking on the issue, Dr E Shivanagi Reddy, director, State Gallery of Art, Hyderabad, and former sthapati, state department of archaoelogy and museums, who has been associated with diggings that began in the region in 1981 under the leadership of Dr B Subrahmanyam, said: "The diggings could not be continued for various reasons. However it is true that these sites do exist and need to be further excavated."

    When asked if relocation could be done, Shivanagi Reddy replied, "Relocation should not be a problem; we have done that a few times before. But for that to take place, these sites should be surveyed, identified and salvaged."

    Sources in the tourism department too said that to develop a proper Buddhist tourism circuit, the sites, both known and suspected, need to be first identified.

    Regarding the threat posed by the PCPIR, Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda) officials said that instructions had been given to the consultants drawing up the final master plan. Vuda chief urban planner RJ Vidyullatha, who is also looking after PCPIR work, said, "This issue was brought to our notice by certain amateur archaeologists. We have decided to take their suggestions and survey these sites. But before that, we will be hold a meeting at Vuda office next Monday to discuss the issue at length."

    Heritage conservationists are also worried about the noxious fumes emitted by the proposed units in the PCPIR causing irreparable damage to existing heritage structures. Confirming the impact of emissions from petrochemical units on heritage structures, Professor U B Reddy, department of environmental sciences, Andhra University, said, "Sulphur dioxide emissions combine with water vapour to turn into sulphuric acid. Another acidic gas, nitrogen oxide, combines with water vapour to convert into nitric acid. High humidity levels are favourable for these acids to form. When they settle on monuments, they result in great damage causing erosion and stone leprosy."

    Buddhist heritage sites face threat from Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region - The Times of India
  • 'Verify builder before entrusting project'

    VISAKHAPATNAM: There is an urgent need to create awareness about the provision of the Apartment Act 1987, said senior advocate and president of The Forum of Legal Professionals Kuppili Muralidhar at an awareness programme on apartment laws organised by Human rights council and Social media club on Sunday.

    Addressing the gathering, the advocate said that the beneficial provision of the act and rights of the apartment owners and tenants need to be addressed in a prominent way. With hundreds of apartments that have sprung up in every nook and corner of the city, there are several flats and apartments constructed without following the rules of either Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act or the Andhra Pradesh (Promotion, construction and ownership) Act of 1987.

    Cautioning the public to take precaution in choosing a proper builder, Muralidhar said only after verifying his antecedents and projects in hand, the work must be entrusted to the builder to construct the flat, for which there should be a written agreement between the builder and the owner. Muralidhar added that if any promoter or owner of the apartment fails to comply with the provisions of act, they shall be punishable with imprisonment up to one year or fine upto Rs 50,000 depending on the kind of violation.

    Secretary of Human Rights council M Shyam Prasad, who presided over the meeting, said that common people find it difficult to understand the cumbersome procedures of the act regarding registration of the association and said that workshop would be organised on the subject. He also said writ petition will be filed in the High Court highlighting lacunae in the act.

    Secure NGO for senior citizen GS Reddy, Telugu Shakthi leader B V Ram, advocates, teachers and several apartment residents attended the meeting.

    'Verify builder before entrusting project' - The Times of India
  • Kurupam market demolition sparks outrage

    VISAKHAPATNAM: The alleged stealthy and nonchalant demolition of the heritage Kurupam market structure by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has left Vizagites shocked and heritage conservationists outraged.

    Showing utter disregard for the heritage value of the structure, the civic authorities simply bulldozed the once magnificent edifice built in memory of King Edward VII on the occasion of his coronation nearly a hundred years ago sometime last week, point out conservationists.

    Shockingly, the demolition came despite the Visakhapatnam chapter of Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) formally offering their services to the civic authorities to repair the structure that was in a dilapidated state.

    In less than 10 days after being approached by the INTACH members, the GVMC authorities moved with stealth and speed to bring down the edifice that was built by Rajah Vyricherla Veerabhadra Raju, the then zamindar of Kurupam Estate.

    Incidentally, Kurupam market ranked prominently on the list of key heritage structures to figure on the Vizag heritage walk for which 21 freelance guides were trained by INTACH jointly with the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) and district authorities.

    What is even more shocking is that officials of the endowments department, which owns the market, claimed to be unaware of the fact that the market structure no longer exists. MVSN Murthy, deputy commissioner, endowments department, said, "I don't know that it was demolished. I shall find out and get back to you. I have been here only for a month."

    Terming the move of the civic authorities as nothing short of vandalism, heritage activist Sohan Hatangadi said: "These officials who come from elsewhere have no respect for the sentiments of the people of Visakhapatnam and the love they have for their heritage. By bringing down this structure, the civic authorities have proved yet again that they have nothing but utter disregard for the heritage of the city. I'm sure they will come up with an eyesore of a monstrosity in place of the old structure that was a fine and handsome example of colonial architecture."

    A saddened V Kishore Chandra Deo, scion of the Kurupam zamindari family and Union cabinet minister said, "It is a sad and unfortunate thing to happen. Civic bodies and government organisations should have been protecting such structures instead of pulling them down."

    Bemoaning the fact that the authorities had not only demolished the structure but also dug 12 feet into the ground to even uproot the foundation, INTACH Vizag chapter convenor PV Prasad said it was ironic that the demolition came because of the Rs 1 crore funding that was sanctioned by the state government to the endowments department to revive the market. "Punaruddharana from what we know means revival through conservation, unless of course my Telugu is wrong."

    "From their point of view, Punaruddharana probably means complete destruction of a heritage structure," said another conservationist, V Edward Paul, sardonically, expressing fears that a few more landmark heritage structures may face a similar fate, if the GVMC authorities were allowed to go ahead with their vandalism. "Queen Mary's High School and Turner's Choultry might also face the same fate. My hunch is that plans for constructing new buildings in the place of the old ones have already been drawn up and the authorities are apparently ready with the funds," Paul added.

    In the face of a mounting public outcry, GVMC officials claimed that the structure had collapsed on its own around November 20. When contacted, GVMC commissioner MV Satyanarayana said: "Please contact the Zone-III Zonal Commissioner." However, the Zonal Commissioner could not be reached for comment. Strangely, GVMC chief engineer B Jairam Reddy said, "We did not demolish the structure. We are only clearing the debris."

    However, conservationists are not willing to buy GVMC's story. More importantly, even the shopkeepers in and around the market yard claim that the structure, though dilapidated, was still standing on November 19 and was gone by the next day. K Ramulu (name changed), a kirana shop-keeper at the market, said, "Blaming the cyclone is just an excuse. I cannot say more. These people are in the process of disbursing funds to build modern structures."

    Attesting to the condition of the structure, G Vishwanadh Kumar, head of the architecture department, College of Engineering, Andhra University, said: "In my opinion the structure could have been salvaged and was definitely not beyond repair. GVMC had identified more than 450 structures, private and public, that were in a state of disrepair. The owners of privately owned buildings did get certificates claiming that the structures were stable. However, I'm not sure if the owners of public buildings bothered to get such certificates."

    Kurupam market demolition sparks outrage - The Times of India
  • 'Rajiv Aawas Yojana houses for people living under flyover'

    VISAKHAPATNAM: GVMC commissioner MV Satyanarayana on Wednesday assured residents of Rammurthy Panthulupeta (RP) area that homeless people staying under the flyover in dire conditions would be provided housing under the Rajiv Aawas Yojana (RAY) housing scheme at Dharmanagar and all the eligible people would be given pension, apart from night shelters. The GVMC chief assured them that the civic body would provide basic amenities to the people living in the area, most of whom hail from the Visakha Agency. Visakha West MLA Malla Vijaya Prasad said those living in thatched and makeshift huts would be provided voter IDs, ration cards and Aarogyasri cards. EAS Sarma, convener, Forum for Better Visakha and Pragada Vasu, secretary (urban wing), Association for Regional Tribal Development, was also present.

    'Rajiv Aawas Yojana houses for people living under flyover' - The Times of India
  • MLA stays put on temple land despite orders

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Six months after the AP Endowments Tribunal ruled in favour of Simhachalam temple and allowed the temple management to take possession of the nearly 719 sq yards of land worth over Rs 5 crore, based on current market value, that has been encroached upon by Yelamanchili MLA UV Ramana Murthy Raju alias Kannababu, the politician continues to blatantly squat on the parcel of land.

    Of the 1700 square yards of land on which the MLA has built a palatial three-storeyed house with a swimming pool, 719 square yards is that of Simhachalam temple, sources said. The land is situated at Adavivaram village in Chinagadili mandal, which is adjacent to the ASR Nagar in the city.

    What is even more shocking is that despite getting a verdict in the temple's favour, neither the temple management nor the endowments department has made any move to take possession of the encroached land.

    Sources alleged that this inaction was largely because the temple management and the endowments department officials are wary of the political clout of the Congress MLA, who is also allegedly close to state investments, infrastructure and ports minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao.

    However, when contacted the endowments department assistant commissioner told TOI that she has been in touch with the Simhachalam temple executive officer (EO) and that they would take a decision on reclaiming the land very soon.

    On his part, Simhachalam temple EO Ramachandra Mohan admitted that the tribunal had given a judgment in the temple's favour and in coordination with the endowments department assistant commissioner they would fix a date and take possession of the land soon.

    AP Endowments Tribunal chairman Dr B Siva Sankara Rao had, on June 29 this year in an ex-parte judgment, directed the MLA to vacate and hand over the scheduled property, located on survey no 275 at ASR Nagar near Seethammadhara area, within one month from the date of the service of the award by written intimation to the petitioners, Varaha Lakshmi Nrusimha Swamy Devastanams executive officer and the assistant commissioner of the endowments department.

    The tribunal also, as part of its order, directed the endowments department assistant commissioner to take police help to vacate the MLA or anybody claiming to be close to him, from the Simhachalam temple land. It had noted in its judgment that the MLA was absent, with no representation despite sufficient service of notice.

    Incidentally, not only did the MLA encroach upon the temple land, he had not even applied to the civic body for the building plan approval to construct the building initially and it was only when the issue hit the headlines that he somehow managed to get the plan approval, GVMC sources alleged.

    There are also allegations that the MLA has been paying a nominal amount of around Rs 3000 per annum as property tax for the palatial property.

    However, GVMC authorities said that when a newly constructed property is located on a disputed site, the civic body fixes the property tax based on the value of the old construction at the site.

    Needless to say the daring encroachment by the MLA has left the opposition leaders fuming. CPM state secretariat member Ch Narsinga Rao questioned how the GVMC could give the MLA permission to construct the building on an encroached piece of land. "If a poor man occupies 60 square yards site of any government land, the authorities file criminal cases against him. The authorities should file a complaint against the MLA and slap criminal cases against him for encroaching upon the temple land," Rao demanded.

    The CPM leader has already submitted a complaint against the MLA in this regard to the district collector urging him to ensure that the tribunal verdict is implemented.

    MLA stays put on temple land despite orders - The Times of India
  • Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority set to adopt e-services

    VISAKHAPATNAM: The Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda), which updated its website earlier this year, has now decided to get more online by providing e-services. Vuda has introduced an e-filing system for the planning section and made provisions for allotment of shops through the online system.

    It now plans to extend the e-services to other departments such as urban forestry, estate wing and engineering. "Using the e-services will ensure greater transparency as each of the applications and files can be easily monitored.

    Also, applicants can view the status of their applications without having to visit the office," a Vuda official said. "All files in Vuda will be scanned and stored in the server system.

    The hard copy of the files will also be available to officials. As soon as any of the hard copy files are passed, the status will be updated online," he said. "The server is being maintained by Andhra University according to the memorandum of understanding we have signed with them. A team of three experts is providing technical support to the staff in uploading and updating the servers," he said.

    Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority set to adopt e-services - The Times of India
  • High rent, market slump leave top floors vacant in Visakhapatnam

    VISAKHAPATNAM: A slowdown in the economy and political uncertainty coupled with high rentals in the city have led to an increasing number of commercial spaces on the upper floors of swanky buildings in prominent locations lying vacant in the city.

    Realtors pointed out that while commercial spaces located on the ground floor of buildings in prominent locations such as Sampath Vinayaka Temple Road, Asilmetta Junction, Rama Talkies-Maddilapalem Road, Dwarakanagar, Dabagardens and Siripuram are much sought after, the demand for upper floors is seeing a downward trend.The branch manager of a leading realty firm said, "Investments in the city have not really grown according to the expectations during the last two to three years.

    Economic slowdown is one reason nobody wants to invest here. Added to this is the political uncertainty. With the division of the state being one of the burning issues and no proper package being announced for this region, investors are obviously reluctant to come forward."

    The realty firm official pointed out, "There is a demand for commercial properties on the ground floor. However, if you show an upper floor to clients, they are not willing to rake out the huge sums being quoted by the owners. There is a need for market correction in terms of commercial property pricing."Another realtor based in Dwarakanagar said, "Some of the owners expect around Rs 40 per sq ft for the upper floors in some areas, though only Rs 20 to 25 can be expected realistically. Unless some positive development takes place in the region, it will take some more time for the upper floors to become sought after."Govinda Raju M of Hanu Reddy Realty said, "Siripuram is one area where there is a lot of demand. However, there are few properties there.

    Commercial space in Sampath Vinayaka Temple Road, Dwarakanagar, Asilmetta Junction and Rama Talkies-Maddilapalem Road are also sought after. The commercial property rentals in these areas range from Rs 80 to 110 per sq ft." Of late, demand on VIP Road is also gaining traction because of three new commercial buildings that are expected to be completed this year, he said.Many companies such as telecom firms that used to operate on 5,000 to 6,000 sq ft are now reducing their requirement to around 1,000 sq ft, he said.

    However, property owners are not willing to reduce their prices because they have experienced higher prices and expect that to continue."The rentals definitely need market correction. The hotel industry suffered a lot last year because of the Samaikyandhra agitations and business has not been great overall. On top of this, the rentals are just cutting into the gains making it really difficult for businesses to thrive. Unless this changes soon, you can expect more vacant commercial properties," said another hotelier with operations near Siripuram.

    High rent, market slump leave top floors vacant in Visakhapatnam - The Times of India
  • VIP Road Vizag's new realty hotspot

    VISAKHAPATNAM: True to its name, VIP Road is turning out to be one of the most sought after addresses for commercial and residential properties in the Port City. At least five commercial and residential properties are under various stages of construction along the nearly 1 km long stretch that is already home to several restaurants, an eye hospital, a two-wheeler showroom and several other commercial offices.

    According to realtors, the demand for property on VIP road has been gaining traction in the last few months, with rates of commercial properties there almost at par with those in major business hubs such as Asilmetta Junction, Siripuram and Sampath Vinayaka Temple Road.

    Sources said that the price for residential property on VIP Road is going at around Rs 5,000 per sft, whereas commercial rentals are hovering around the Rs 100 per sft mark. The commercial rentals in Siripuram range from Rs 80 to Rs 100 per sqft, that in Sampath Vinayaka Temple Road between Rs 100 to 120 per sqft, Dwarakanagar around Rs 80 to 100 per sqft and Asilmetta Junction at Rs 80 to Rs 110 per sqft.

    A realty source said that one of the buildings under construction on VIP Road, which will have 14 floors with 11 floors for residential and three floors from the ground for commercial activities, has already been sold out. "As per our information, one of the floors is going to be taken up for a showroom by a Japanese-based electronics giant. The building has been sold out even while the construction is still going on," he said. Referring to the prospects of properties on VIP Road, another realtor said, "It will be a fantastic place for business in the next two years." Pointing out that an Indian lifestyle retail giant is eyeing one of the commercial properties on the road for huge store, he said: "While some of the other properties are yet to be taken up, we are sure that even they will be snapped up in the next few months," he added. "The new rates for commercial property rentals will be around Rs 100 to 110 per sqft on par with other properties located in the city."

    Sources said that along with the 14-storeyed building coming up on the road, other properties include a four-storeyed commercial complex and an eight-storeyed building among others. "The space around VIP Road is just in the neighbourhood of other upmarket shopping hubs like Siripuram and Sampath Vinayaka Temple Road. More importantly, it is very near to the RTC Complex and also not far away from Maddilapalem, which is another important junction. Topping it up is the fact that such a huge space for developing properties with clean land records can be rarely found in either Siripuram or Sampath Vinayaka Temple Road. This will make it an exciting place in the coming days," a leading realtor developing residential apartments in Madhurawada said.

    "This is actually a welcome development because the realty sector has not being too great in the last couple of years due to the economic slowdown. We hope this will give a boost to the market."

    VIP Road Vizag's new realty hotspot - The Times of India
  • Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority to protect its open spaces

    VISAKHAPATNAM: The Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda) has evolved an action plan to protect the open spaces earmarked in all its own layouts. Vuda vice-chairman N Yuvaraj issued concrete directions to officials to take immediate steps to identify the boundaries of open spaces in all the 49 Vuda layouts developed in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts and raise protection walls around them.

    During his visits to many layouts, he observed the lack of compound walls, collapsed protection walls and even encroachments. While Vuda insists on private developers to maintain open spaces strictly as per the layout rules and utilization for the earmarked purpose, Yuvaraj said that he intends to make Vuda into a role model and had hence initiated steps to safeguard the open spaces.

    Yuvaraj directed the officials of the planning, estate and engineering wing to identify all the open spaces without boundaries and start constructing protection walls in all the Vuda layouts. He further directed the officials to remove encroachments, if any, found in Vuda layouts. The open spaces will be transferred to the concern local bodies through registered sale deeds, Yuvaraj said.

    Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority to protect its open spaces - The Times of India
  • 'Focus on infrastructure development crucial for meeting future needs'

    VISAKHAPATNAM: With cargo movement expected to increase during this decade at the Visakhapatnam port, it is important to focus on the development of road infrastructure, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)'s Vizag zone chairman G Sambasiva Rao said here on Tuesday.

    Addressing a round table conference on infrastructure development activities and challenges of Vizag on Tuesday, he said that emphasis should be on improving and expanding roads in the city. Also, vehicle terminals and parking lots along with footpaths for pedestrians are crucial to ensure the city has no traffic chaos in the coming years, he said.

    Pointing out that the port was expected to handle around 200 million tonnes of cargo by 2020, he said that all stakeholders including Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda) and the city police need to plan ahead to meet the increasing vehicular movement.

    Speaking on the occasion, architect and urban planner Anil Laul called for the need to improve infrastructure by constructing flyovers at NAD, Maddilapalem and Gajuwaka. At the same time, he said traffic should flow in a seamless manner without any interruptions due to frequent traffic signals.

    Union minister of state for commerce and industry D Purandeswari said that safety and augmentation of infrastructure is necessary in order to cater to the increased trade in coming years. Purandeswari said that she will take up the matter by involving all the concerned departments to make the city safe and sustainable for future growth.

    Highlighting the recent efforts for safer roads being taken up by the police department, police commissioner B Shivadhar Reddy said that more stringent measures are in the offing against motorists who flout rules.

    'Focus on infrastructure development crucial for meeting future needs' - The Times of India
  • Andhra University panel to check Haritha Housing Project quality

    VISAKHAPATNAM: A team of experts from Andhra University civil engineering department has been entrusted the task of acting as the third party quality control agency for the much-anticipated Haritha Housing Project at Madhurawada by the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda).

    "In fact, the third party quality control team has been checking the project since July 2013, but Vuda revealed this only on Saturday," a Vuda officer told STOI. The team led by Professor Rambabu is staying at the project site to fulfill the assignment. The internal and external quality control checks deal with the assessment of the quality standards of the material and construction activity and recommend remedies for lapses, the officer added.

    Meanwhile, Vuda vice-chairman N Yuvaraj said, "The procurement of each and every material such as sand, iron, bricks, pipes, electricity supply material and all other types of construction tools are being checked by these quality control teams, simultaneously along with construction works. The checks will continue till completion of the project works".

    Inspecting the Haritha project on Saturday, Yuvaraj said construction work at most of the 10 blocks of HIG, MIG and LIG units was nearing completion. He also pulled up contractors for delays in slab work

    in HIG and LIG blocks and warned them that they would be slapped with penalties and severe action would be taken against them. The VC said that since the delays would damage the image of Vuda and lead to further dissatisfaction among the allottees, contractors and engineers should put in their best to complete the works before the deadline.

    He also directed the engineers to take up infrastructure works such as street lighting, construction of compound wall, hospital, community hall and shopping complex simultaneously and complete them before the announced time limit.

    Andhra University panel to check Haritha Housing Project quality - The Times of India
  • GVMC mulls developing parks on vacant plots

    VISAKHAPATNAM: In a move that might come as a breath of fresh air for the Port City facing rising pollution and urbanization, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is finally working on a plan to give the city some lung space. The civic body is surveying open or unused vacant plots of land within its limits, including Anakapalle and Bheemili, with an eye on developing them as public parks.

    Revealing this to media persons here on Monday, GVMC commissioner MV Satyanarayana said that the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Authority (MAUD) is keen on developing open places in the municipal or corporation limits across the state on a priority basis.

    Upon requests from MAUD, the corporation has already issued a circular to commissioners of all the eight zones to enumerate the number of open or unused vacant plots in their limits by forming a separate committee comprising members like zonal commissioner, assistant city planner and executive engineer (works).

    "Currently, all the zonal heads are preparing the list of open places within their limits. The corporation will get the full data of open places in a week. The data will be forwarded to MAUD, which will entrust the task of financially supporting the corporation to develop the identified open places as parks to some government agency. We hope all the paperwork will be completed by the end of this month," Satyanarayana added.

    Meanwhile, GVMC's horticulture officer M Damodara Rao said that as per preliminary reports, GVMC presently has 856 open and unused plots within its limits. As per preliminary information, the government was negotiating with the AP Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited to financially support civic bodies in this endeavour.

    "Only two zones, Zone-VI and Bheemili, have submitted their survey reports of open places in their limits on Monday. We are yet to go through the report. We hope that the remaining six zones will submit their survey reports by this week end. If everything goes well, all the vacant places will be developed as parks by the ensuing summer," Damodara Rao told TOI.

    Elaborating on the plan, Rao said: "The government wanted to develop open spaces into three types of parks -- mini parks, neighbourhood parks and community parks. Any vacant or unused plot measuring about 2,000 square yard to one acre located less than 0.4 km from a residential locality or colony can be categorized as a mini park. Similarly, open spaces ranging from 5-10 acres can be considered for neighbourhood parks while plots over 10 acres can be developed as community parks," Rao explained.

    GVMC mulls developing parks on vacant plots - The Times of India
  • Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority to draw lots for Haritha allottees seeking change

    VISAKHAPATNAM: The Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda) will be conducting a draw of lots on February 23 for allottees who submitted requests seeking change of category of units in the Haritha housing project.

    The draw of lots will be conducted from 10 am onwards at the 'A' Block of Vuda Udyog Bhavan and the applicants have been informed to attend the process either directly or through authorized representatives along with the allotment orders and copies of the requests submitted.

    Vuda vice-chairman N Yuvaraj said in a press release that the requests for change of category will be considered for those applicants who have already cleared their dues up to the fifth installment. The changes will be restricted only to the 49 units that have fallen vacant as a result of withdrawal of allotment by the allottees, he added.

    Yuvaraj further said out of the total 661 allottees in the project, 114 are yet to clear their fourth and fifth installments and have been told to pay up immediately to avoid penalties. The allottees have been given time till April 30, 2014 to pay up their sixth and last installment.

    "The details of the pending installments have been placed on the Vuda website -- -- for the benefit of the allottees. Steps will be taken to issue a separate notification for allotment of the remaining available units in the Haritha project after completing the process of change of categories," Yuvaraj said.

    On Thursday, Yuvaraj directed the in-charge secretary and chief accounts officer D Vijaya Bharathi and chief engineer I Viswanatha Rao to make arrangements for completing the process.

    Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority to draw lots for Haritha allottees seeking change - The Times of India