‘APIIC has not provided infrastructural facilities'

The charred pieces of rubber tyres lie all over the place, the battered internal roads with uneven margins and the clogging drains present a picture of gross neglect.

This is the sprawling industrial area in Guntur, the Auto Nagar and the Industrial Development Area, spread over 275 acres and consisting of about 3,000 plots. The Auto Nagar located adjacent to National Highway No. 5 should have witnessed rapid development considering the proximity to the highway, but has lagged behind similar industrial development areas in the State. There are no internal roads, the drains are incomplete and worse there is no water connectivity to the industrial area, where close to 10,000 workmen spend the better part of their lives.

Piles of garbage lie unattended on the roads posing a potential health hazard to scores of workers.

Except for a 100 feet road laid two years back connecting the Mangalagiri road to the phase 3 and phase 4 and two high mast light poles, nothing significant has been done for the past 10 years. The internal roads are now lying tattered while unfinished drains in phase 1 and phase 2 is posing problems.

“Auto Nagar in Guntur has tremendous potential but has been bogged down by lack of development. We are seeing a few signs of development only in the last five years. Located within a radius of just 2 k.m. from Guntur, it is appalling that water is not available. We are eagerly waiting for commencement of drinking water scheme, for which MLA Sk. Mastan Vali gets the credit,'' says former chairman of Auto Nagar Society K. Venkateswara Reddy.

The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (APIIC) entrusted with the development of industrial area, was being blamed for failing to provide basic infrastructural facilities like roads, water, power, and drainage.

Scarcity of funds

“The APIIC had done its bit when Auto Nagar was opened in 1988 by laying roads and drains. But we are facing scarcity of funds now. We can take up developmental works only with the property tax collections from the members,'' Deputy Zonal Manager, APIIC, Sub Zonal Office, Prabhudas said. Established in 1975, the Auto Nagar became the hub of motor field since late 1980s.

The Auto Nagar was extended to four phases subsequently and was extended with the setting up of Industrial Development Area. The Auto Nagar now extends to a sprawling 275 acres.

Mr Mastan Vali, who has been pushing for the development of Auto Nagar, said a comprehensive development would not be possible without a package. “We have managed to secure Rs.3 crore for commencement of drinking water project but to develop the whole area, we require a minimum of Rs.40 crore,'' Mr. Vali told The Hindu.