The elected representatives seem to be toying with the idea of expanding the boundaries of Vijayawada city and converting it into Greater Vijayawada Municipal Corporation – a long-cherished dream of people here.
Credence to this thinking comes from the fact that State will be divided into two and Seemandhra region needs to develop its own cities. Even as the agitation against the bifurcation of State is on, it is learnt that the Greater Vijayawada proposal is gaining momentum.
The prime reason: the city could be showcased as better option to become capital in the event of the State getting bifurcated. A vast chunk of Government land will be part of the Greater Vijayawada Municipal Corporation if the dream comes true.
The government lands available in the neighbouring villages could be used for creating infrastructure for the new capital. The authorities are working on land availability in the vicinity, sources say.
The infrastructure in the surrounding panchayats can be developed on a par with the city and that will augment the Corporation revenue.
The VMC authorities, sources say, had already begun working on the Greater Vijayawada proposal. The boundaries of Vijayawada will expand phenomenally if the proposals eventually materialise.
The total area of the city will swell to more than 403 sq. km., from the existing 61.88 sq. km.
As many as 45 villages will need to be merged with the city, sources say. The Corporation had in the past proposed merger of only 15 surrounding villages with a total extent of 125.52 sq. km. But the current proposal seeks merger of 30 more villages with an extent of 216.30 sq. km.
The Corporation wishes to extend the boundaries up to Gannavaram, Ibrahimpatnam, Kankipadu and Penamaluru in view of the fast growing needs and the necessity to plan for the next 20 years.
For instance, the growth rate in Gannavaram is 47 per cent and it is only 37 per cent in the city. Penamaluru and Kankipadu mandals are abutting the National Highway and agro-based industries are located there.
The VMC passed the resolution a couple of times seeking merger of 15 surrounding villages and sent them to the government.
The government even asked the VMC to send its clarifications on certain issues raised by it. The VMC officials had then prepared a map with new boundaries.