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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  • Visakhapatnam development body to develop housing, IT space under PPP model A 1.35-acre plot located next to the Vuda office will be converted into a multi-level car parking (MLCP) and commercial spaceUmamaheswara Rao | TNN | February 06, 2018, 16:30 IST

    VISAKHAPATNAM: The Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (Vuda) has zeroed in on three of its land parcels for mixed-use development in Siripuram and Madhurawada areas. Proposed to be developed under the public-private partnership model, Vuda officials are currently contemplating on which model of PPP funding will suit these projects. International property consultant CBRE has already done a study of the land parcels and submitted its report.
    A 1.35-acre plot located next to the Vuda office will be converted into a multi-level car parking (MLCP) and commercial space. After the Vuda Children’s Arena and Gurajada Kalakshetram were thrown open to the public in the vicinity of Vuda Udyog Bhavan, Vuda has proposed to develop a multi-level car parking facility in Siripuram area.

    Currently, a multinational call centre is using the 2.15-acre Vuda plot situated next to it for its parking purposes. Amidst the talks that the Vuda plot will be transferred to a private party in exchange of the latter’s plot on the RK Beach to pave way for the proposed international convention centre, Vuda officials expect an imminent need of creating parking space in Siripuram to accommodate the increasing vehicular traffic in the city as well as the vehicles of the MNC.

    Vuda has been long proposing a MLCP to reduce the traffic woes in the city, which has not materialised due to various reasons. The urban body has now incorporated the commercial space aspect in the project, which may attract more private parties and reduce the car parking tariff.

    The structure on the 1.35-acre area would likely get three underground floors for parking. Three more floors will be constructed from the ground level for commercial purposes. Again, parking facility will be created on the top of the building. As per preliminary proposals, Vuda will get free parking space as well as revenue sharing in the project.

    A senior Vuda official informed that the other land chosen for development is a 19.5-acre patch in Madhurawada. “This will get an IT tower, luxurious hotels and commercial space. We are currently exploring the best PPP model for these projects. The 19-acre land is located in survey numbers 394, 395, 396 and 397,” said the official.

    On the other hand, Vuda is also planning to take up a housing project in Yendada area. The 25.9-acre land is located in survey No 1 of the area. The Vuda official informed that they will soon release an expression of interest to invite private bidders to develop these projects under the PPP model.

  • Residents shudder as hygiene goes for a toss TNN | Feb 8, 2018, 02:37 IST
    Visakhapatnam: Even as the civic authorities are taking all measures to encure that the city is clean and well-maintained to get a better Swachh ranking, there is still a need to reach the outer areas of the city. Despite dustbins being placed in every street and steps taken to ensure proper drainage system, people residing in faraway areas opine that they are still facing a lot of problems due to the unhygienic conditions prevailing in many residential areas.

    It has become a nightmare for people residing behind the Shilparamam Jathara, a park located in Madhurwada. Due to lack of proper drainage system, the waste water generated from the food points located in the park gets stagnant. This turns into a drainage soak pit which has become a breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes. Adding to the woes, the polluted water combined with heaps of food waste attracts dogs and pigs.

    Colonel Raman Joshi, an army officer residing in Madhurvanam apartment adjacent to the Jathara park, said all their complaints have been in vain. "Despite repeated complaints through the swachhata application and writing letters to the GVMC commissioner, my efforts have been in vain. To my astonishment, even as the same condition prevails, the complaint that was lodged shows 'resolved' by the sanitary department!" Col Joshi fumed.

    "I also lodged a complaint on twitter (social media platform) requesting the GVMC officials to look into the pathetic and unhygienic condition of the place. But even that has failed to move them so far," he added.

    B Rajendra, a bank manager residing near the park, has a similar complain. "I lodged the complaint last month on Swachhata app, but no steps have been taken so far when as per the rules your complaint needs to be attended within 24 hours. Instead, the status of the complaint shows 'resolved', while the condition of the area remains the same. Moreover, the people who walk in the paved pathways have to bear the foul smell," he said.

    Zonal commissioner P M Satyaveni told TOI that the problems would be resolved soon. "To ensure a proper drainage system in the area, the drains outside the park have already been constructed. The next step would be to construct drains inside the park and connect it to the main drain. We are at it and hope to resolve the issues soon," he said.

  • Protest over ‘budget bomb’ brings Vizag to a standstill Visakhapatnam: Vizag city came to a grinding halt on Thursday as a bandh call given by Left parties in protest against the Centre's meagre allocation of funds for the state in this Budget found support from all opposition parties including the YSR Congress, Congress, Jana Sena and even the BJP.

    The bandh passed off peacefully in the North Andhra districts as all government and private transport services came to a grinding halt and commercial establishments, educational institutions and others remained closed for the day on Thursday. Many people's organisations and trade unions took part in the bandh.

    Interestingly, the ruling Telugu Desam Party's (TDP's) representatives also swung into the action and staged protests and rallies. Petrol bunks, theatres, banks and other establishments also remained closed. People of all walks of lives extended support to the bandh as there is a widespread sentiment among the public of being wronged by the Centre by way of a meagre allocation of funds to the state in the 2018-19 Budget.

    Police forces were deployed in large numbers at strategic locations across the district and in neighbouring districts to prevent untoward incidents. People travelling to other places suffered the most due to a complete halt in transport services.

    Even weekly vegetable markets in faraway Agency areas remained closed due to the bandh.

    Transport services slowly began crawling back to normal after 2 pm. Over 50,000 auto-rickshaws in North Andhra are believed to have stayed off roads.

  • Vizag second in country in Swachh Survekshan feedback Umamaheswara Rao| TNN | Updated: Feb 9, 2018, 23:42 IST
    Visakhapatnam: The port city has got a head start in Swachh Survekshan 2018 as more than 71,000 Vizagites recorded their feedback as of Thursday. Only the South Delhi Municipal Corporation is believed to be ahead of Visakhapatnam with more than 1.1 lakh responses.

    According to officials, the number of responses garnered from Vizagites is manifold compared to any other major city of Andhra Pradesh such as Vijayawada (12,106 responses), Tirupati (17,425), Rajahmundry (15,549) and Kakinada (10,012).

    The other cities at the national level trailing behind Visakhapatnam are Indore (62,502 responses) and Tiruchirappalli (52,992 responses). The efforts of the civic body as well as the 'Love Vizag' campaign taken up by active residents of the city seem to have propelled the city in terms of the number of responses.

    Citizens' feedback forms a crucial part of the survey this time as it dedicates 1,400 marks (35 per cent weightage) for citizens' feedback and utilisation of Swachhata App out of the total 4,000 marks.

    The GVMC has planned to send a total of 15 lakh bulk SMSs in a phased manner, requesting the city's residents to participate in the survey. From creating videos and setting up hoardings across the city on Swachh Bharat Mission, Swachh Survekshan and citizen feedback components, the civic body is leaving no stone unturned towards getting the first rank in this year's survey.

    It has been distributing pamphlets about the survey and citizen feedback at several public places. After Swachh Survekshan 2018 incorporated the sustainable waste management practices, the GVMC has aggressively pushed the public towards garbage segregation as well as composting. The residents of the city were also made aware of the survey through FM radio channels and local TV advertisements.

    GVMC commissioner M Hari Narayanan said people can submit their feedback on the Swachh Survekshan website as well as Swachhata App. "They can also give their feedback by calling 1969 toll free number. About one lakh Vizagites participated in the 2017 survey and this time we are hoping feedback from two lakh citizens," said Hari Narayanan.

    Another senior GVMC official said they cannot be complacent with the number of responses as they are aiming at first rank this year. "Currently we stand ahead of many major cities of the country. We request the public to actively participate in the survey to get the coveted first rank. We are getting 3,000 to 4,000 responses every day from residents of the city," said the official.

    On the other hand, a central observation team, as part of Swachh Survekshan 2018, will arrive in the city on February 12. They will visit various areas in the city for direct observation as well as to seek citizens' feedback. The survey team will also visit public toilets, market places and other public areas.
  • Heritage Town Hall, standing tall since 1904, in dire need of facelift Sulogna Mehta| TNN | Feb 11, 2018, 03:27 IST
    Visakhapatnam: The 114-year-old Town Hall, a heritage structure which has seen the transformation of Visakhapatnam from a fishing harbour into one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, is now suffering the travails of old age with a municipal corporation doing little to improve its condition.

    Located in Old Town, the building, which was inaugurated in 1904, is now in a dilapidated condition with a crumbling roof that is in dire need of repairs. There is talk of repairs but nothing has happened as yet, say locals.

    The Town Hall, built by the Maharaja of Bobbili, had hosted many important meetings during India's freedom struggle and had witnessed high points in Vizag's socio-cultural and literary circuit. It played host to great personalities like Sir CV Raman and Dr S Radhakrishnan. However, the building rapidly descended into disrepair as it was being rented out for weddings and functions, which was stopped two years ago.

    The building has wooden floors, Mangalore-tiled pitched roof and stone towers with spire-shaped tops.

    Heritage activist and member of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) Sohan Hatangadi said, "Though the GVMC had taken the first steps in preventing further deterioration by cancelling the lease of the premises to someone renting it out for weddings and littering it with filth a couple of years ago, the building is now in a rundown condition and needs repair."

    However, despite assurances from the corporation to revive one of the most important heritage structures of Vizag, implementation of the same has not taken place.

    "Lack of funds to preserve the heritage buildings, management skills and willingness could be the reason. It is quite possible to raise funds from donors, business houses and corporations including crowdfunding to get this building fixed and operational. The corporation should allow public spirited members of society to form a body with the goal of restoring this building. Obviously, we will still need plenty of support and hand-holding from the administration," Hatangadi said.

    Sources from the municipal corporation said there are plans to renovate the Town Hall and the Old Municipal Office Building and said some parts of funds from the Smart City project and World Bank would be utilised for sprucing up the building.

  • Overbridge for NAD flyover gets rlys’ nod Umamaheswara Rao| TNN | Feb 13, 2018, 03:40 IST
    Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority’s (Vuda) multiple discussions with railway officials, with regards to the construction of a new rail overbridge for the proposed three-level grade separator (flyover) at NAD Junction, have finally yielded the desired result as the latter has agreed to take up the ROBproject.

    Vuda had been in discussion with the railway officials as the flyover needs another ROB (on railway land) to facilitate vehicle landing on one level of the flyover. Initially, the railways asked for alternative land or compensation for the land to the tune of Rs 9 crore, which was not originally budgeted for the initial estimates of the flyover cost.

    Officials of the urban body have been requesting railways to come forward to construct the flyover on their land in public interest and have said Vuda will bear the expenditure to be incurred on the ROB. Vuda vice-chairman P Basanth Kumar informed that railways has preliminary agreed to the proposals. “They have asked us to deposit the estimated cost of the ROB with them to execute the project. It may cost around Rs 5 crore,” he said.

  • Vizag could be home to a multi-industrial park soon V Kamalakara Rao| TNN | Feb 13, 2018, 03:27 IST
    Visakhapatnam: The government is planning to build a multi-industrial park, with eco-friendly infrastructure and facilities, in Vizag. The fresh proposal is being mooted as an alternative to the old greenfield Electronics Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) — a project which was officially announced two years ago but is still gathering dust due to lack of response from private players to the Expression of Interest (EoI) floated in July 2016.

    The government, in collaboration with the union ministry of electronics and information technology, had proposed the setting up of the EMC. The state-owned AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Limited (APIIC) had even identified 98.83 acres of land at Gurrampalem in Pendurthy, in Visakhapatnam district for the EMC project.

    With the project, announced in 2016, getting no response from anchor units till date, the authorities concerned, including the department of information technology, are presently exploring various other alternatives to gainfully utilise the 98.83 acres of the land which was earmarked for the EMC. The surprise visit of a senior official from the IT department to the Gurrampalem site in January this year has added fuel to the alternative proposal plans of the state government.

    Confirming this, a senior official from the state government told TOI: “We earmarked 99 acres of land for the setting up of the EMC at Gurrampalem. Twice we released bids inviting anchor companies to start their units at the EMC, but there was no response. So we are now thinking of alternative projects like multi-industrial park or hardware park.”

    As per the guidelines of the EMC, only electronics-related companies need to be established in the cluster. But, if the EMC is converted into a multi-industrial park, any company can start their units there. “By using the same land of 99 acres, we are now exploring various possibilities, and are thinking of a multi-industrial project. The only difference is that the EMC is an official project, while the multi-industrial is unofficial and has to be studied from various angles including at the CM’s level,” said a senior bureaucrat.

    It may be mentioned that the state government had in 2016 promised four EMCs in the state including one in Vizag and three in Tirupati.

  • Faulty designs behind rise in highway mishaps Samdani MN| TNN | Feb 15, 2018, 02:54 IST
    Guntur: A study conducted on national highway accidents in the state has found defective engineering methods adopted during the construction of NH-16 (Chennai-Kolkata) a prime reason for frequent accidents taking place there. NH-16 passes through most of the nine coastal districts in the state and sees at least one fatal accident a day.

    The state government constituted district-level committees comprising officials from roads and buildings, national highway authority, transport and police departments to study reasons for the bleeding of highways in AP last year. The committees inspected accident-prone spots and held several rounds of discussions before arriving at the reasons for the mishaps.

    The state government is said to have compiled data and inputs submitted by the committees recently and sent it to the ministry of surface and road transport authority and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for taking up corrective measures, said sources.

    The joint study which was carried out in Guntur district pointed out several lapses in the design and construction of the NH, added the sources. The officials have also pointed out that poor lighting facility particularly when NH passes through a particular town or village is also leading to accidents. “While street lights available in some habitats are dim, there are no street lights in many villages. Poor visibility is leaving little scope for drivers on highways, little chances to prevent the mishaps,” said a senior official part of the study team.

    Officials found that not providing proper access to people residing in the villages located just on the bunds of the NH is forcing them to make irregular entry into the NH resulting in collusion of vehicles on the highway. The team found the need of immediate construction of proper service roads in towns and villages through which NH passes.

    Students of a private university also took part in the study.
  • Permanent steps to check beach erosion by next year Siva G| TNN | Feb 17, 2018, 03:54 IST
    Visakhapatnam: Permanent measures to check beach erosion are likely to be put in place by next year once Deltares - the consultant from Netherlands roped in to study the erosion along the city’s coastline - submits its report to the government by the end of this year.

    Deltares had embarked on the study in December last year covering a large swathe of coastline from Gangavaram port to NTPC Simhadri area at Parawada where marine structures are located and Divis Labs near Bheemili.

    “Deltares would submit a Detailed Project Report (DPR) and an engineering design besides estimates. The consultant would carry out a systematic study of erosion and sea activity. The sea activity would be high during the months of May to October. So, they will study the conditions in detail,” Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) chairman MT Krishna Babu said. The works would be taken up by the government at a tentative cost of Rs 150 crore as part of the beach beautification drive.

    Beach erosion is on a high since 2015. Even a part of the beach road was damaged due to erosion. If the sand replacement were not done, the sea would come forward, the port chairman said.

    Krishna Babu said as per the studies, 271 km of the coast out of 974 km of the entire AP coast has been affected by the erosion.

  • Swachh 2018 team arrives in city to check on sanitation TNN | Feb 17, 2018, 02:00 IST
    Representative Image

    Visakhapatnam: A six-member central observation team, as part of Swachh Survekshan 2018, has arrived in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. The team checked the documents pertaining to the progress in implementing various components of the Swachh Bharat Mission at the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation office.

    Later, the central team split into two to visit various public places to assess the sanitation condition. While one team went to Zone-I, the other team inspected various public places in Zone-II. The teams covered Arilova, Pineapple Colony, MVP Colony, Pedawaltair Rythu Bazaar, Shivaji Park, Ushodaya Junction and other places on Thursday. According to a GVMCofficial, the document verification process might continue for another two days. They will also seek feedback from denizens on the cleanliness of the city and Swachh Bharat initiatives, he said.

    GVMC is continuing its awareness campaign on citizen feedback. On Thursday, an awareness programme was conducted at BVK College. GVMC commissioner M Hari Narayanan called upon the public to participate in the Swachh Survekshan 2018. “People’s participation is vital in keeping the city clean,” said Hari Narayanan.

  • Vizag towers above others in Swachh Survekshan feedback Umamaheswara Rao| TNN | Feb 22, 2018, 03:24 IST Visakhapatnam: The city has risen to the top spot in the country in the ‘Citizen Feedback’ component of Swachh Survekshan-2018 by getting well over 1 lakh responses from locals till Wednesday.

    The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is optimistic that Vizag will hold on to the first place in this segment as South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which was in first place till two weeks ago, was relegated to the second position by Vizag by a slender margin of over 3,000 responses from residents.

    While SDMC secured only about 4,000 responses in the last two weeks, Vizag performed tremendously by garnering about 47,000 responses during the same period.

    Several major cities of the country are trailing Vizag by a huge margin, such as Indore (67,550 responses), Bhopal (47,328), Tiruchirapalli (57,919), and Jaipur (34,113). Metro cities such as Greater Mumbai (14,637), Chennai (9,007), Kolkata (775) and Bangalore (2,441) were nowhere near the top.

    The Swachh Survekshan 2018 dedicates 1,400 marks (or 35% weightage) to citizens’ feedback out of the total 4,000 marks, making it a crucial part of the survey. The efforts of the civic body as well as the ‘Love Vizag’ campaign taken up by the residents of the city propelled the city in terms of number of responses.

    The love among Vizagites for their city was apparent last year too with the city bagging third rank in the Swachh Survekshan-2017. eIt was Vizagites’ love for their city which earned the ‘3rd cleanest city of the country’ in Swachh Survkeshan 2017. Well over a lakh residents submitted feedback for the Swachh survey last year, making Vizag the city with the highest number of responses as the survey got only 37 lakh resposes from all 434 cities of the country.

    GVMC commissioner M Hari Narayanan explained how the public can submit their feedback through various ways. “Besides Swachh Survekshan and Swachhata app, residents can submit their feedback on the toll-free number #1969. More than 1 lakh Vizagites have participated in the 2017 survey and this time we are hoping for feedback from about 2 lakh residents,” he said.

    Centurion University vice-chancellor and Swachh Visakha Brand Ambassador Prof GSN Raju is hopeful of Vizag city getting first rank in SS 2018.

    “It has been a 360-degree transformation of Vizag city from the 205th rank in the 2015 survey to 5th rank in the 2016 survey to 3rd rank in 2017 survey. As feedback plays a key role in the survey, we visited several colleges and public places and requested the public to participate in the survey. This fetched fairly good results. March 10 is the last date to submit citizen feedback,” said Prof GSN Raju.

    The number of responses garnered from Vizagites as of Wednesday is manifold compared to any other major city of Andhra Pradesh such as Vijayawada (42,369 responses), Tirupati (17,606), Rajahmundry (16,014) and Kakinada (10,106).

    GVMC has planned to send a total of 15 lakh bulk SMSes in a phased manner, requesting residents of the city to participate in the survey. From creating videos and setting up hoardings across the city on Swachh Bharat Mission, Swachh Survekshan, and citizen feedback components, the civic body is leaving no stone unturned towards achieving first rank in this year’s survey.

  • GVMC to revamp sewerage network in Smart City area Umamaheswara Rao| TNN | Updated: Feb 22, 2018, 23:11 IST
    Visakhapatnam: The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is planning to augment its sewerage network in the area-based development (ABD) part of the city under the Smart City Mission.

    Besides revamping the existing network and filling the gaps, the Jalaripeta area will get a new sewerage network. In all, about 3,017 houses will be brought into the underground drainage network fold. A detail study, carried out by the GVMC, has identified around 8.6 kilometres of missing links within the ABD area.

    On the other hand, 7.5 kilometres of new sewerage network will be laid in the Jalaripeta area. While 70 per cent of the households in the area are connected to the sewerage system, the remaining 30 per cent are under the existing storm water network, which is discharged into the sea.

    The two existing sewerage treatment plants in the ABD area — the 25 MLD STP near Appughar and 38 MLD STP near Lakshmi Talkies — remain underutilised as the current inflow of sewerage into both the STPs is about 19 MLD each. Both the plants have secondary treatment facilities with extended aeration process.

    With the existing treatment technology, the quality of the treated water is not suitable for industrial needs. As a result, the treated sewerage effluent is let out into the sea. Now, both the STPs will be technologically upgraded to match up with the treated water quality requirements of industries as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation (CPHEEO) standards. These two plants will also be completely automated with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) operating system with sensors and other measures to determine quantitative and qualitative parameters of influent, effluent etc.

    A GVMC senior official informed that “the project will fill all the gaps in sewerage network of wards 17, 18, 19 and 20 of the city so that the households which were left out of the network will be also be connected to it”. The pumping stations at Pandurangapuram and Shanti Ashramam will also be upgraded to serve the upgraded STPs. The nearly 1 km sewerage gravity line from Durgalamma temple to the 38 MLD STP will also be replaced, he said.

  • Clean Vizag impresses foreign delegates Sulogna Mehta| TNN | Feb 26, 2018, 03:12 IST
    Visakhapatnam: “Vizag is a clean city with some pretty beaches. I stay in Chennai for my work, which is also a clean place. But I must say that Vizag is cleaner, especially its beaches and roads.” Such compliments for the port city are not one-off — visitors from other states and countries have more or less said the same things about Vizag many times before — but when such praise comes from a Japanese delegate, it assumes significance. After all, Japan is known to be one of the cleanest countries in the world.

    Not just the city, the local cuisine too has become a favourite of Noritada Hayashi. “It’s much like what we eat in Japan. Here too, people eat rice and fish. I have not faced any problems with the food here though it’s a bit spicy,” he says. Hayashi is from Tokyo, and currently works in Chennai as director of Jetro, an external trade organisation of the Japan government.

    The cleanliness of the city has also not escaped the eyes of George O’Neal from California. “During my drive to the hotel from the airport, I found Vizag to be a clean and green city. There’s no much natural beauty around, there are hills, forests and seas. Driving on the roads back home in California is a nice experience, and it’s a similar feel when you drive on Vizag roads. Moreover, I am really loving Indian and Andhra food,” says George, co-founder of Karman Inc, who is on his first visit to the City of Destiny.

    Another delegate, Steel Lee from South Korea, who is the director of Daeha Co, was also struck by the city’s cleanliness. “It’s a good place for business. After the conference, we hope to do some sightseeing around the city and will go to the beaches. We are also interested in setting up our manufacturing unit in Andhra Pradesh,” said Lee.

    The Spanish delegation went for a walk on the beaches soon after their arrival and found them “very nice”.

    Thanks to the local administration for rigorously following Swachhta, for hundreds of foreign delegates present at the three-day CII Partnership Summit, it’s been a pleasant experience being in a clean and green Indian city.

  • GVMC launches special drive to clear pending tax arrears Umamaheswara Rao| TNN | Updated: Feb 25, 2018, 11:43 IST
    Representative image

    VISAKHAPATNAM: With the fiscal coming to a close, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has launched a special drive to clear long-pending tax dues. The civic body has issued 6,000 notices, 700 warrants and 2,000 notices to the residents for sealing properties. Going a step forward, it has also been setting up their signboards on land of owners who have not paid their vacant land taxes.

    Out of Rs 222 crore property tax in 2017-18 fiscal, the GVMC could collect Rs 194 crore till date. While, it could only collect about Rs 19 crore of the demand of Rs 30 crore water tax. When it comes to property taxes, GVMC has been collecting 95% of the targeted tax each year. But that is not the case with water taxes. Despite spending Rs 48 crore per annum on electricity to pump water from reservoirs, GVMC has been lagging in household water tax collections. In the last three years, it could only recover about 50% of the amount.

    In the 2016-17 fiscal, the corporation has succeeded in collecting only about Rs 25 crore as opposed to the annual target of Rs 48 crore. From the corresponding periods’ tax collection in 2015-16 and 2014-15, the GVMC has Rs 33 crore and Rs 28 crore water tax arrears to collect in 2017-18 financial year.

    According to a senior GVMC official, they have started disconnecting water supply to those residents, who have not responded to their notices for years in a row. “After water supply was discontinued, we have collected Rs 6 crore from tax evaders in the last 10 days. Collection of water tax has improved this year. However, we are still making adjustments in the revenue generated from water taxes and conducting field visits to weed out anomalies in the type of water connections,” said the official.

    Despite the encouraging property tax collections, about 70% people have not been paying their vacant land taxes. Now, the GVMC is installing ownership boards in those vacant lands to make the owners fall in line and pay their dues.

    “We want to collect 100% taxes by March 15, even though the last date is March 31. We want to ensure that there are no tax dues in 2018-19 fiscal,” said a GVMC revenue official.

  • City to get more bus bays equipped with ACs, toilets and drinking water TNN | Feb 26, 2018, 02:44 IST
    Guntur: The Guntur Municipal Corporation (GMC) is planning to construct air-conditioned city bus bays at all busy junctions. Buoyed with the success of the first AC city bus bay launched in Lakshmipuram junction, the GMC has decided to go for similar projects across the city.

    At least 10 more bus bays with all basic amenities, including clean toilets and seating facilities will be made available in the next 2-3 months.

    Special officer of GMC and district collector Kona Sasidhar directed the city planning wing to identify suitable sites for construction of the bus bays. The project will be taken up under PPP mode. The private player, which will invest in the construction, will be allowed to profit through billboards to be set up on the top of the bus bays.

    The city bus station will have at least 30-40 seats in the air-conditioned room. Mineral water and mobile charging facilities will also be available free of cost. The bus bay will also have an ATM. Reviewing the progress of city developmental works with all the senior officials late on Saturday night, district collector asked the engineering officials to put the road development works on a fast-track. He asked the GMC and R&B engineers to complete the main roads on priority basis. Nandivelugu road, Etukuru road, Koritapadu road, Amaravati road, Lalupuram road and Ponnur road would be completed in the first phase.

    The collector asked the traffic police to take steps to prevent the movement of heavy vehicles on Nandivelugu road in order to complete the road widening and ROB project works.