Just when it was thought that the tourism sector will finally take off to a new high with both, the State and the Central governments recognising the need to explore the vast potential of this region, the ‘twin demons’ of bifurcation and elections played spoilsports.
None of the major projects announced by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) in this region has had a smooth ride as far as their implementation is concerned.
The corporation’s ambitious ropeway project, which was thought to have cleared all hurdles, has yet again slipped into oblivion. This is because the district administration has been asked to focus on division of the tourism assets.
After a prolonged dilly-dallying on account of lack of proper coordination between allied departments like the Tourism Corporation and the Irrigation department which refused to part with its land for setting up a base station near Seetammavari Paadalu, the APTDC made a complete change in the original plan.
According to the latest plan, the cable car was to be introduced between Haritha Berm Park and Bhavani Island, both properties of the APTDC.
But bifurcation has put a halt to execution of the plan. “No development works can be taken up due to the election code. Moreover, we have been asked to look into division of tourism assets. This also means a status quo on all projects,” Vijayawada Sub-Collector D. Harichandana told The Hindu on Tuesday.
Conceived over a decade ago with an objective to blend faith and amusement by launching a ropeway project from Kanaka Durga temple atop Indrakeeladri Hill to Seetammavari Paadalu on the bank of the Krishna, the Tourism officials had been trying in vain to thrash out a solution to the string of hurdles that impeded execution of the cable car project.
A similar fate awaits Gandhi Hill, yet another project which was in the Tourism Corporation’s priority list.
Bhavani Island, dubbed as a ‘prized possession’ of the APTDC has also had several hiccups in terms of development. Progress eluded this picturesque landscape for a long time on various counts. If initially it was for fund-crunch, later it was set aside following the controversy of its proposed privatisation. It took long for the privatisation dust to settle and the authorities to wake up to the need to groom this much sought-after destination into a recreation zone. Funds have been granted but the election code has put a spoke in the development works.