It may take over a couple of more months for the picturesque Bhavani Island to get back to its original sheen.
An official team comprising the Chief Engineer, Projects, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), in-charge Vijayawada Divisional Manager G. Ramakrishna and others is scheduled to visit the island next week to assess and review the existing conditions at the island which is in a shambles.
Floods that ravaged the scenic beauty of the island are not the only culprit for ruining the splendour of the place. A prolonged delay on the part of the Tourism Corporation authorities to take up renovation works in the wake of the controversy surrounding the proposed leasing out of the island to a private company added to the neglect of the once-enduring place.
The 130-acre area of the island is reduced to 128 acres due to soil erosion in the aftermath of the floods. The lush green lawns that beckoned picnickers are now patches of dry land in light brown shade. The spider webs, the Burma Bridge and the country swings are in tatters. The water-soaked wooden bulging staircase leading to the restaurant may give in any moment.
The four tree-top cottages that were built later than the remaining four clusters of 24 cottages, and had always been in great demand, stand as a picture of disregard. “The wooden railings of the tree-top cottages are completely damaged and their dilapidated condition has forced us to temporarily close them down for the public,” says Mr. Ramakrishna.
“We intend to take up renovation works at an estimated cost of Rs.2 crore in the first phase. Though there are a series of plans to introduce new features on the island, we will have to first focus on the renovation works. Once the existing facilities are strengthened, we will shift focus on bringing in new add-on facilities,” he says.
The Rs.100-crore Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) property, perched on the serene Krishna River, was launched amid much fanfare by former Chief Minister the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. The sprawling 130-acre area dotted with exciting features like cottages, restaurants, a conference hall and a number of thrilling adventure games besides country swings became picnickers’ paradise.
Fun-lovers eagerly wait for the island to regain its original sheen and enjoy their favourite adventure sports.