Shivajipalem colony became famous because of the sprawling Shivaji Park developed by the GVMC

State Bank of India (SBI) Residential Colony, Doctors Colony and Andhra University Staff Colony are part of the Grand Shivajipalem Colony with an over all population of 10,000. The area, once resembling a tiny village with bad and narrow roads and mostly economically weaker sections living there, had undergone a sea change during the past three decades. Today it is a posh township of multiple residential colonies which developed with different professionals forming housing societies and developing their own layouts. However, the main road of Shivajipalem, leading to the Shivaji Park is yet to get a decent look as there are still encroachments on the roadside of petty traders of motor repairs etc who had robbed the area of its decent outlook. Local people feel that the area would look beautiful if avenue plantations are planted on either side with well laid roads. The area comes under ward 16 and zone 2 in GVMC limits.

Shivajipalem colony became famous because of the sprawling Shivaji Park developed by the GVMC when Sabbam Hari was the Mayor. The colony is also home for an engineering college being run exclusively for women by the Andhra University.

The SBI colony was established in 1978 with the bank employees forming into a house building society. While most of the independent houses added another floor, the basic character of the colony has not changed over the years. The colony has good roads and a beautiful park developed in partnership with GVMC when N. Srikant was the municipal commissioner. On a public and private partnership the GVMC and the SBI Residents Welfare Association invested Rs.8 lakh for building a compound wall, walking track, park lighting and platforms for conducting religious ceremonies. The members of the association, mostly retired from the State Bank, have taken keen interest in the park development. The park is like a jewel in the crown, surrounded in a circular shape by the huge buildings around it. The members of every house watch over the park. Interestingly only retired couples live in the colony with all their children well settled in the United States. Resembling a Wordsworth poem, a resident of the colony G.V.Ramani muttered philosophically that “Children have come and children have gone afar off but we couples are going on together forever.” This is the general scenario in the posh colony.

Interaction

The colony couples make it a point to meet everyday in the park and interact and listen to mutual tales of the past and fond memories of their children and grandchildren. Their every day meetings with the park as the platform makes them reminisce of pleasant experiences with their children. A phone call by their children in US or in the western countries would give them the news of the day to share with friends in the neighbourhood.

Women spend time in the park either planting a new variety of flower plant or engage in pooja. The park has become very famous in the area as people from other places visit it, and befriend those who are regulars, thus forming a closely knit family. Hundreds of women from other adjacent colonies participate in the religious ceremonies conducted in the park. The association had also developed an excellent shuttle court where young boys and girls play shuttle badminton. The park, spreading over a sprawling 1.5 acre of land, has a walking track with men and women engaging in walking during early hours of the day and in the evening. The members of the association celebrate festivals, birthdays and marriage anniversaries together in the park along with the grand SBI Colony Family. The members pass on time and life celebrating and sharing joys and sorrows equally.

One interesting thing in the colony was a hoarding in Telugu which says “We have no shame. We throw the garbage and refuse only on the roadside. We will not listen to anyone.” This slogan, to dissuade people or servants from openly throwing garbage on the roadside, paid dividends and the practice of dirtying the roads and streets stopped, says K. Parthasaradhi, a resident of the colony. The residential area is clean and green.

The area has all the commercial establishments including banks, departmental stores and scores of private and government schools and colleges. The women purchase vegetables at the Rythu Bazaar in MVP colony. It is also well connected to APSRTC bus operations.

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