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- Revenue from property registration dips in Visakhapatnam According to realtors, majority of the housing projects which are being registered are deals which were made prior to demonetisation.
VISAKHAPATNAM: The demonetisation drive appears to have adversely affected revenue collection in the stamps and registration department which solely depends on property registrations in Visakhapatnam district.
The department has collected a revenue of only Rs 33.53 crore, achieving a target of only 54.52 per cent that was generated in November from Visakhapatnam district including sub-registrar offices under Anakapalli and Vizag city, according to data available on the CORE (CM office real-time executive) dashboard.
While the eight sub-registrar offices in Vizag collected a revenue of Rs 25.63 crore and achieved 56.32 per cent of the target, the 11 sub-registrar offices in Anakapalli netted a revenue of Rs 7.89 crore and touched only 49.42 per cent of the target.
Incidentally, while the first week of November (before the demonetisation was announced) witnessed revenue collection of around Rs 8 crore, the subsequent three weeks witnessed an approximate collection of Rs 5.5 crore each week in the sub-registrar offices in Vizag.
Similarly, the first week saw revenue collection of around Rs 2.5 crore in the sub-registrar offices in Anakapalli, but in the subsequent three weeks, the revenue collection dropped to around Rs 1.8 crore for each week.
According to realtors, majority of the housing projects which are being registered are deals which were made prior to demonetisation. Realtors said large number of customers who had earlier expressed interest in plots and apartments are now waiting to see how the realty sector reacts to the demonetisation drive.
“We usually used to get around 8-10 enquiries per week for apartment projects, but we this week, we saw only about 3-4 enquiries. Many people are preferring to wait for some more time before deciding on their investments,” observed a builder from the city. He also said the demand may drop for another month considering that cash flow is yet to fully resume in the city.
“This (demonetisation drive) is actually shocking news for many people. There will be a correction in land rates, so generally the demand for plots is expected to drop for some more time. We are seeing only those people whose bank loans that had been cleared now actually going ahead with purchasing flats,” opined another builder, who said that only people with cheque payments are now going ahead with the registrations.
- Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation to set up green belt TNN | Updated: Dec 28, 2016, 07.37 PM IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) commissioner M Hari Narayanan on Tuesday instructed officials to set up a green belt from Maddilapalemto the airport along National Highway-16.
He instructed officials to plant saplings in the vacant places of the central medians and sub-medians and ensure that the green belt is well protected by arranging proper fencing, a press release said.
During his inspection of the stretch from Maddilapalem to the airport on Tuesday, GVMC commissioner also imposed a fine on Bajaj Spares and Jyothi Car Care for encroaching on a green belt area and damaging the beauty of the road.
- Infrastructure development on the cards TNN | Updated: Jan 2, 2017, 09.23 AM IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has decided to improve basic infrastructure across the city next year. The plans include construction of service roads, repair of roads, development of GVMC schools, and laying of underground drainage systemin select areas within the corporation jurisdiction.
GVMC commissioner M Hari Narayanan said the corporation would soon go for request for proposal (RfP) to modernise three GVMC schools as part of its efforts to improve education as well as school infrastructure. This apart, the corporation would also lay roads in certain areas with own funds. TNN
- Vizag to adopt Kolkata vertical housing model District collector Pravin Kumar told TOI, "We will visit Kolkata in the first week of February to study a similar project in the metro city where it has produced successful results."V Kamalakara Rao | TNN | January 20, 2017, 16:00 IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: Officials from the city are to soon visit Kolkata to study the vertical housing structures which will be replicated here in order to provide housing, particularly to employees of private firms.
District collector Pravin Kumar told TOI, "We will visit Kolkata in the first week of February to study a similar project in the metro city where it has produced successful results."
Till now, the government has been providing houses to the unorganised sector and those below the poverty line under various schemes like JNNURM and NTR Housing.
Now, the government in association with private builders has decided to build homes for those in private companies and sell them at an affordable price.
In the first phase, the government has already decided to develop 1 lakh houses including 65,000 spread over 710 acres at Achyuthapuram towards Rajahmundry and 35,000 spread over 400 acres at Anandapuram towards Srikakulam.
As it is a massive project, the government wants to adopt the vertical housing structure, which is very popular in Kolkata. "Upon instructions and suggestions from chief secretary SP Tucker, we are preparing to study the housing structures in Kolkata where huge houses were built in less space. The government wants to start the housing project in February this year," a senior official from the housing department confirmed to TOI.
K Ramakrishna Rao, chairman of Vizag Chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developer's Association of India (CREDAI), said, "The vertical housing towers at Kolkata is a 100 per cent success. We have already studied them. The cost of social transport is also very less and the houses are more affordable. If the land value is high, these vertical structures are a better option. The Kolkata structures have minimum 8 floors to a maximum 20 floors."
Rao said Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI) is ready to develop such vertical structures free of cost by taking an alternative land of similar value as investment from the government. "We have made many negotiations with the government over such projects. We are sure we will get a favourable call from the government to take up the projects in the city," Rao said.
Andhra University's civil engineering department Prof GV Rama Rao who specialises in structural engineering said, "As Vizag is close to the sea, builders should have to take upmost care to develop vertical structures. Apart from Kolkata, the vertical structures at Bangalore city are also good."
A senior official from Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) said there are nearly 5 lakh vertical households in the city. Of them, nearly 2 lakh households require own houses. Of the 2 lakh, nearly 10,000 households belong to employees in the information technology sector. Many people commute nearly 30 km to 100 km from the city to work in various industries, companies and business firms daily.
We will visit Kolkata in the first week of February to study a similar project in the metro city where it has produced successful results
- Work on Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor yet to gather momentum V Kamalakara Rao| TNN | Updated: Jan 21, 2017, 12.36 PM IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: Works on the much-hyped Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) seems to be moving at a snail's pace.
At the international summit hosted by the AP government here in January 2016, the concerned authorities including chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had said the government would move fast on the progress of VCIC and would keep ready all the requisite formalities at least for the first phase in the next one year.
After the summit, in October 2016, Asian Development Bank came forward in October with an assurance of funding USD 631 million for the 800-km long corridor covering all the nine coastal districts. However, there has been no progress on the project since then.
After almost one year, the state government is now gearing up to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the union government regarding the project at the upcoming CII AP State Government International Summit scheduled to be held here on January 27 and 28.
Concerned government officials in the presence of the CM will sign papers with the National Industrial Corridor Development & Implementation Trust (NICDIT), an apex body constituted by the union government to oversee development of all five industrial corridors across the country. Kartikeya Mishra, director of state department of industries, said, "The MoU for VCIC will be signed between the state government and Centre at the global partnership summit."
Speaking to TOI, district collector Pravin Kumar said, "Works on the Vizag-Chennai corridor are progressing well. Right now, tenders have been floated."
Once the MoU is signed, stakeholders of the project including AP Industries Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation(GVMC) and AP Transco will swing into action and start their respective works. including internal infrastructure in industrial clusters, urban water supply, roads, road safety measures, climate change resilience, power transmission and distribution. This apart, detailed project reports of the four industrial nodes including Vizag-Kakinada and Gannavaram-Kankipadu would be prepared by an agency appointed by the union government.
A senior official from APIIC said the CM is likely to have a special discussion on the VCIC project with a team of officials at the summit soon after the MoU is signed.
The APIIC officer added that the corridor is one of the key component of the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECIC) being developed between Kolkata and Tuticorin. Auto mobiles, electronic manufacturing, plastics, food processing, textiles and apparels, chemicals, pharmacy and pharmaceuticals are some of the key sectors to be given priority for development along VCIC with the objective of attracting minimum Rs 1 lakh crore investment in an year, he said.
- Clean, green & friendly city has foreigners floored Sulogna Mehta| TNN | Jan 29, 2017, 06.00 AM IST
Visakhapatnam: Foreign delegates at the CII partnership summit on their first visit to Vizag are quite upbeat about the city, scenic beauty, hospitality and cuisine. Foreigners on second visit are also impressed to find a lot of improvement in the city.
Almost all of them find the city clean, green with a beautiful combo of seas and hills. The yummy Andhra cuisine also was a hit among them. Around 400 foreign delegates from across 50 countries are put up in the various star hotels of Vizag for these two-three days.
Sam Freeman, director of a retail college, from Brisbane Australia said, "This is my second visit to Vizag after 2014. I find a lot of development, especially along Beach Road, which has been beautified with attractive graffiti and paintings on the walls. The roads are much cleaner and more new buildings are coming up. The Andhra cuisine is always a delight, especially anything with gongura. The Gongura mamsam (meat) is one of my favourites."
Equally generous in her compliments about Vizag was Dr Alcira Susane Goggi, a scientist from ISU Seed Science Centre in Iowa, USA. "I just landed in Vizag and soon after was greeted by a lovely view of the seas and hills and temples. I enjoyed my drive from the airport to the hotel and summit venue. I am also looking forward to the food here. I am used to spicy food in the US dished out by my Indian students. So, I am going to enjoy Andhra cuisine as well," she averred.
The Japanese team, some of whom had been to the city before also appreciated the development. Tetsujiro Tani from Sumitomo Corporation India Private Limited said, "I keep travelling to India and Vizag as well. This time I find the city has overall improved in civic infrastructure such as roads and greenery as compared to last January."
Gopinath Pillai, an Indian-origin national of Singapore, pointed out that the city has remarkably recovered and was rebuilt post cyclone Hudhud devastation. "It's wonderful to see the recovery within two years of the cyclone. There's a plethora of business opportunities in the city and quite rightly it's the commercial hub of AP," he stated.
Meanwhile, besides signing of several tourism-related MoUs, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department also took around 40 delegates on a sightseeing tour of the city to Kailasagiri, Central Park and Submarine Museum. Some delegates also undertook a 360 degree 3D virtual tour that encompassed the various tourist spots of Vizag. "This pleasant city Vizag is truly an appropriate place for investment in tourism," pointed out US delegates Allengo and Susanna.
- Delay in NH-16 widening irks citizens V Kamalakara Rao| TNN | Updated: Feb 19, 2017, 11.20 AM IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: Those living and working along the 25-km stretch on National Highway-16 from the airport junction to Adarshanagar junction expressed disappointment at the slow progress of the road widening project taken up by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC).
On instructions from chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, the GVMC took up the highway road widening project in the beginning of summer 2016. The project was supposed to have been completed by the onset of the monsoon the same year. The CM wanted the road to be widened for easing out vehicular traffic on the highway besides adding beauty to the city roads.
With summer 2017 approaching, the project, which includes 60 types of works like digging of roads, making culverts, shifting electricity poles and demolishing structures that come under the marked area of the widened road, is far from completion.
When TOI enquired about the progress of the project with the GVMC on Saturday, officials said only 60% of the project works have been completed till date.
One of the primary reasons for the delay was lack of technical clearances from other stakeholders including AP Transco, Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) and BSNL for shifting the electricity and telecom lines in some areas, said sources. The works of culverts and canals at some junctions including Venkojipalem are yet to begin, they added.
"The slow progress of the NH-16 widening project is causing a lot of inconvenience to the public, particularly those at Venkojipalem and Hanumanthawaka Junction. The authorities are focussing on widening the roads used by VIPs and giving less priority to other places," said P Muralidhar Rao, a bank employee and resident of Venkojipalem.
- GVMC plans to stop flow of sewage water into sea V Kamalakara Rao| TNN | Updated: Feb 28, 2017, 01.56 PM IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: Despite being a venue for several national and international events like the International Fleet Review, Independence Day parade and other international summits, a major stretch of RK Beach continues to act as a channel for sewage water from the city to flow into the sea.
However, with the state government mulling development of the port city as a top tourist destination in the country, tourism department officials have come up with several plans to revamp the beach at par with international standards.
The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) authorities have already convened a series of meeting with the concerned officials followed by thorough inspection of the beach stretch in the last few weeks to understand the ground reality. The corporation has instructed AECOM, the US-based firm that has been entrusted with the Smart City project, to conduct a study on ways to prevent the flow of sewage into the sea.
When contacted, GVMC commissioner M Hari Narayanan said the major issue was sewerage water flowing directly into the sea through Uta Gedda that flows through Pandurangapuram, Harbour Park and All India Radio office and ends opposite the NTR Statue on Beach Road. "With the help of Visakhapatnam Port Trust, we have successfully constructed a storm water drain for Uta Gedda. The port trust contributed Rs 5 crore for the work. Now, under the Smart City programme, we are examining how to connect the drain to our sewerage treatment plant at Appu Ghar near Kailasagiri. The study is still going on and is likely to be submitted by AECOM representatives in a week," Hari Narayanan told TOI. Hari Narayanan said they are yet to estimate the cost of the project and will think about it only after receiving a study report regarding the linkage project.
"As RK Beach is a major tourism destination in the city, we decided to concentrate on revamping it with all possible efforts from our side. The linkage of Uta Gedda with the sewerage water treatment plant is a major project we plan to take up on a priority basis," he added.
- Vizag is the best place for real estate investment Pappula Chalapati Rao, MLC, appreciated the contribution of Vizag Credai Chapter to the overall development of the city, especially housing.TNN | March 06, 2017, 15:00 IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: The port city is the best place for investment in real estate, opined the experts at a panel discussion on 'Vizag Property -Trends Today and Tomorrow' at Credai-VSP Property Expo-2017 at AU Engineering College Grounds on Sunday.
Initiating the discussion, G Sambasiva Rao of AP Chamber of Commerce and Industry said several industries and other projects in the field of tourism, education, and IT are in the pipeline and such development would boost the real estate sector. "Development of six lane roads and the international airport at Bhogapuram would also contribute to the development of real estate," he added.
O Naresh Kumar, managing director of Symbiosis IT firm, said even though the IT sector had a late start in the city, it has picked up in recent years thanks to surplus power supply and other steps taken by the state government. The revenue from the IT sector was Rs 2,000 crore per year and is expected to go up, he added. President of Credai-VSP, GVVS Narayana said there was no possibility of prices of flats coming down, but are likely to rise. P Koteswara Rao, convener of the Property Expo, made a plea for construction of a modern convention centre in the city.
Pappula Chalapati Rao, MLC, appreciated the contribution of Vizag Credai Chapter to the overall development of the city, especially housing. G Chakradhar, president, APREDA (Andhra Pradesh Real Estate Developers Association) asserted that demonetisation had no negative impact on the housing sector.
He said the master plan of Vizag is being revised. This would take at least one to one and a half years. Representatives from real estate sector should represent to the government and get required changes incorporated in the proposed master plan.
- ‘Laxity in law enforcement leading to fire mishaps’ TNN | Updated: Mar 5, 2017, 11.53 AM IST
Fire mishaps in the city are no longer confined to the industrial units but are taking place in busy areas such as in government hospitals, ATMs, commercial establishments and shops. Concerned by such happenings, Vizagites list ways to minimise fire mishaps and emphasise on strict enforcement of fire safety norms.
Permission to buildings
Lots of apartments, hospitals, cinema halls and malls are violating the rules and regulations and we are seeing many fire mishaps mainly due to lack of fire and safety measures. The government is giving permission for apartments in narrow streets (galli) without safety measures. If accident occurs, there's no access for fire tenders to enter those streets. Our city is now a smart city but we are modifying our city without putting in place safety measures which will threaten our future. Therefore, GVMC officials should issue fire safety certificate to private buildings only after ensuring that all the norms are in place.
Choppa Rama Raju, Pvt employee
The recent fire mishaps in Vizag city were on account of electrical short circuits. But there were also cases of gas leakages in houses and industrial units in the pharma SEZ. The main reason for these frequent accidents is laxity on the part of establishment owners as well as law enforcement authorities, right from GVMC to fire safety department. Occupancy certificate should be given to a building only after ensuring all the fire safety measures are implemented thoroughly. Electrical connections and equipment should be of high quality and precautions against overloading and short circuits should be taken. Fire extinguishers and other materials should be maintained properly to meet any emergency. The approach roads should allow fire tenders to reach the affected building in a short time. More importantly, the building or any establishment should follow the fire safety guidelines prescribed by the government and on their part, the authorities should frequently inspect all the vulnerable places to ensure strict adherence to rules.
Maradapu Srinivasa Rao, Retired bank employee
Keep a strict vigil
With fire accidents becoming frequent in the city, the AP Pollution Control Board(APPCB) and the district administration should keep a strict vigil on the safety standards before giving clearances to any industry. The recent incidents in some of the factory units in the city limits raise questions about safety standards. In one of the recent incidents, fire tender service took over 48 hours to douse the fire as there was not enough room for the fire tenders to access the unit. This led to many people questioning the concerned inspecting department's approving factory operations and role of the APPCB.
Lohit Ganivada, Student
Though fire accidents can't be stopped, steps to prevent and reduce fire accidents can certainly be taken. Simple measures such as keeping functional fire extinguishers and housekeeping are not considered by most establishments. Apart from these, insurance is one thing that most establishments don't care about, which can minimise the loss due to fire mishaps.
N Ramprasad, Private employee
To control fire mishaps, quality electricity wiring, fire safety measures, protectable transformers, experienced electricians and mainly self-discipline and responsibility are required. Indiscipline and irresponsibility in deploying fire safety measures have aggravated the problem.
Satya Chunduri, Teacher
Enforcement of rules
To control frequent incidences of fire mishaps and loss of lives and property, enforcement of rules is very much required especially in commercial places. Many such places don't have functional fire-fighting equipment. Only when a mishap happens, checking and enquires are made but soon the issue is closed and forgotten.
Vivek Rathod, Social worker
- ‘Lack of civic sense and no fine imposition leading to beach littering’ TNN | Updated: Mar 12, 2017, 11.07 AM IST
The dirty and unhygienic conditions at the beaches of the port city has Vizagiites fuming. They say on the one hand, the state government is spending crores of rupees on beach development while on the other, there is no maintenance. At the same time, they concede that the public too is to blame for their extreme lack of civic sense which results in the beaches getting littered to the point of ugliness. There is a need for stringent monitoring on the part of the administration and imposition of fine by the authorities on the public in order to ensure that the city beaches are kept clean, the residents point out.
Lack of civic sense
Vizag is endowed with naturally beautiful beaches. But, they have become eye sores because of human defiling. Though Vizag held the fifth position in Swachh Bharat rankings in 2016, the picture on the beach front is anything but clean. Though the government has been spending huge amounts to develop beaches, the same spirit is absent in their upkeep. With woeful lack of civil sense on the part of visitors to the beach as well as inaction by the authorities concerned, the problem is worsening by the day. Establishments and industrial units also dump their effluents and waste into the sea. Every visitor should feel the responsibility to keep the beaches clean, particularly at the time of big events and festivals. And, at the same time, the authorities also should be ever vigilant to keep them litter-free.
Maradapu Srinivasa Rao, Retired bank employee
Let's do our duty
We love our Vizag and especially its beaches. It is our home and our responsibility. Let us do our duty for our love. Let's put a conscious effort and remind ourselves of our duty. Stop littering and put the trash in dustbins. Let us take an oath to treasure and protect the pride and beauty of our city beaches and respect the efforts of GVMC.
D Sandeep Reddy, MD, Studyeuro Education Consultancy
In the recently concluded CII conference on Destination Vizag, we showcased attractions like Thotlakonda Beach to the country's top destination management companies. The city administration too highlighted its conscious efforts in keeping these attractions clean and tourism worthy. However, it is a shame that citizens are doing very little and leave such beautiful locations littered with garbage and waste. It is probably due to lack of education and responsibility.
My suggestion is that all eateries should be shifted to the other side of the beach. Apart from this, GVMC should constantly review other pollutants from areas like port and industries and take quick and strong measures to keep the beaches clean.
D Ravi, Retired corporate executive
After events like IFR and Visakha Utsav, tourists to this place are increasing by leaps and bounds. The government is spending immensely on beach beautification. To maintain this environment, trash bins that were fixed throughout the stretch should be used for disposing of waste. Usage of plastic and others for packaging purpose should be reduced. Voluntarily, people should take part in creating awareness among their family and social circles about beach littering and its effects.
Public should use dustbins
When one enjoys an evening out on the beach, one should make sure that garbage is dumped only in dustbins. The public usually throws plastic wrappers all over the place, this despite the fact that every vendor has a dustbin attached to his cart. We must spread some awareness about the harmful effects of strewing garbage and must educate the people not to litter in public places and to keep our city and beaches clean and green.
Impose fine on errant public
We have beautiful beaches and there's scope for further improving and beautifying them. It's high time the GVMC employs policemen in plain clothes to monitor the littering and impose fines on the spot to those violating the rules.
R Sekar, AGM Nalco
- Vizag Metro Rail project awaits in-principle nod Siva G| TNN | Updated: Mar 16, 2017, 11.25 AM IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: The state government is facing severe criticism from all sections of the society for not allotting any funds for the Vizag Metro Railway project even though it was mooted before the Vijayawada Metro Railway project. However, the concerned authorities claim that the project is in the pipeline and a detailed project report (DPR) has been submitted to the central government for in-principle approval.
The metro rail project was planned in 2014 and the DPR prepared in 2015 was approved by the state cabinet following which it was sent to the central government in January last year. The central government proposed the project under the PPP mode against the conventional method of construction and the revised DPR was submitted in December.
The state government had mooted the Vizag metro rail project even before that in Vijayawada but the latter gained momentum as it comes under the new capital region.
The Vizag metro rail will cover 42.04 km stretch in three corridors -- Kommadi to Gajuwaka, Gurudwara Junction to Old Post office via Dwarakanagar and Dabagardens, and Thatichetlapalem to Park Hotel on Beach Road via the station complex. The cost of the project was estimated to be Rs 12,000 crore as per the 2015-16 report, sources said.
Reddy said once they get permission from the central government, they will invite expressions of interest (EOI). "We need to send the project for approval in each stage from the central government as it will provide viability gap funding. Any metro rail project will take years together for completion. The project is under consideration by the central government," he added.
- Beach constructions flout CRZ norms in Vizag The CRZ norms state that no new permanent or concrete structure should come up at least half a kilometre (500 metres) from the sea coastSulogna Mehta | TNN | Updated: March 19, 2017, 09:55 IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: Massive construction works are going on along the Vizag-Bheemili Beach Road in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms and ironically, it is the government bodies who are permiting such constructions and putting up boards regarding the details of the upcoming project.
Though the CRZ norms state that no new permanent or concrete structure should come up at least half a kilometre (500 metres) from the sea coast, several hotels, resorts and structures have come up on Beach Road, especially between Rushikonda and Bheemili, during the last few years. The latest being a 4,966 square yard kalyanamandapam at Rushikonda, barely a few metres away from Sai Priya Resort. Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) member Shabnam Patel said, “It’s surprising to see how the government can give permission to such permanent structures at the cost of coastal environment. Sometimes, it is for a hotel or convention centre or at times a function hall. There are already sea-view star hotels and resorts existing in the city where meetings and functions can be held. There’s no need for creating noise and environment pollution in a serene ambiance and damage the coastal ecology further.”
Melville Smythe, an employee of Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) who teaches surfing at Rushikonda Beach, said, “Being associated with Rushikonda and Vizag for many decades, I have seen how private players keep expanding their properties along the beach, grab land gradually and start construction on them and discharge untreated waste into the sea. The upcoming kalyanamandapam will not do anything good for the environment, rather will worsen the prevailing pollution. There is absolutely no need for a noisy function hall with bright lights so close to the sea. Already, Rushikonda beach is battered by erosion. It would be detrimental for the environment and marine life.”
- ‘Only 5 of 150 water bodies remain in and around Vizag’
Sulogna Mehta | TNN | Mar 26, 2017, 06.00 AM IST
Visakhapatnam: World Water Day was observed this week to highlight the importance of saving water, but the condition of water bodies in the port city are not at all encouraging.
The old maps of Vizagapatnam reveal that there used to be around 150 water bodies in and around Vizag, but now, not even five of these exist. Environmentalists stress the need to restore these water bodies to prevent severe water crisis in the near future as well as save the environment and biodiversity.
Currently, just a couple of water bodies are visible in the city though in a shrunken state. The one in Vaisakhi Jalauddanavanam in Suryabagh has become a tiny lake due to concrete lining after a park was built around it. Another water-body near Kappulupada go-carting centre along the Vizag-Bheemili Road has also shrunk due to road extension.
"The pond needs to be de-silted and widened. Its embankments should be strengthened and a park and pathways can be developed around the waterside. Restoring the pond and beautifying it with greenery will also attract various species of birds and butterflies thus enriching the biodiversity of the area," Hatangadi added.
Professor of environmental sciences at Andhra University, Uday Bhaskar Reddy said, "The water bodies or wet lands help in storage of rainwater and keep the water table high. Clogging and covering them lowers the water table and leads to paucity of water in the surrounding areas besides adversely affecting the biodiversity."
Vaisakhi Jalauddanavanam in Suryabagh has become a tiny lake; Another water-body near Kappulupada go-carting centre has also shrunk due to road extension
- 1 lakh hillslope residents cry out for water, proper roads V Kamalakara Rao| TNN | Apr 23, 2017, 12.39 PM IST
VISAKHAPATNAM: More than one lakh residents of 30 hillslope areas under Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) reel under civic problems despite being promised remedies during the past elections.
The residents claim none of the elected representatives worked towards addressing their basic demands like water supply, proper drainage, power supply and protection from the landslides, particularly in the rainy season. Apart from this, there are dangers in the form of snakes and poisonous insects from nearby forest area.
"Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has visited our city nearly 60 times since the new state was formed, but he did not visit our areas till date. None of the local ministers visited our areas so far except in December 2015, when four people died in a landslide in Thatichetlapalem," said K Parameswara Rao, who lives on the slope of Kapparada.
Most of the hill slope residents are migrated labourers from neighbouring districts of Srikakulam and Vizianagaram. "These residents did not have proper electricity supply for nearly eight years. However, that issue has been resolved now. The present problem is of drinking water, proper roads, health and education facilities. Many children come down to avail themselves of education and health facilities," said Ch Narasinga Rao, state secretariat member of CPM party.
P Hemalatha, a resident of Hanumanthawaka hill slope, said, "The hand borewells are not working properly. GVMC supplies water through tankers, but they do not come up to our hillock. We have to come down to collect water. This apart, there is no specific timing of the water tanker. Our situation turns horrible in peak summer which begins in May. Last year, we had a horrific experience due to lack of drinking water in May." "We have on several occasions requested the GVMC to set up a protection wall along the residential localities on hilltops, but they have not responded to our request. Instead, they are now planning to construct a retaining wall in the leeward side along National Highway-16 to prevent landslides on the highway. We welcome the move, but they must put the same enthusiasm on building of such walls at the hill top," said another resident of Hanumanthawaka K Jagannadham.
GVMC commissioner M Hari Narayanan told TOI that they would construct a retaining wall at Hanumanthawaka. "The people living in 10 houses vacated the place on Saturday to facilitate the construction of the retaining wall, which is important for the safety of the vehicles and people passing on the highway," the civic chief said.