Andhra Pradesh Special Chief Secretary, Tourism, and Culture Chandana Khan has said the move to privatise Bhavani Island in the Krishna in Vijayawada “has been kept in abeyance for now.”

She was addressing reporters after inaugurating the India International Travel Exhibition here.

Touching upon the controversial issue of Bhavani Island privatisation that had raised the hackles of political parties and mass organisations, Ms. Khan said the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation would take up development works to add features in the picturesque island.

The privatisation move was followed by a period of uncertainty when the APTDC abruptly shunned all development works in the island. The lawns needed mowing, the adventure sports such as spider web, Burma bridge, and country swings were left in a dilapidated condition while sand deposits accumulated in the open space in front of the food restaurant added to the gloom. The APTDC officials expressed helplessness citing uncertainty in the wake of the privatisation move.

Ms. Khan’s statement not only comes as a long overdue clarification on the issue but also paves the way for local APTDC authorities to restart works and groom the place to revive its original charm.

Ms. Khan also spoke about plans to develop other tourist destinations along the coastal belt in the State.

“Since the coastal Andhra Pradesh has enormous potential to attract tourists with its wealth of rich culture and tradition, besides scenic beauty, the State Tourism Corporation will make all-out efforts to groom tourist locales wherever possible,” she said.

Ventures

Speaking about the upcoming ventures of the APTDC, she said beach resorts would be developed at Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Kakinada, and Nellore. She also visited the Kalachakra museum at Amaravati in Guntur district.

Referring to the 200-ft. Buddha statue, which is yet to be completed, she directed authorities concerned to ensure its completion by May 14, the Buddha Purnima festival, scheduled to be held at Amaravati.

Ms. Khan said the State would celebrate a cultural festival at Amaravati and a weeklong heritage festival in Karimnagar.

Krishna district Collector Budha Prakash M. Jyothi and APTDC Divisional Manager J. Raghupathi Rao were present.

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