Use of road margins, pavements for commercial purpose decried

Praja Spandana has asked authorities to develop the erstwhile central jail land into an eco park without any scope for commercial activity.

At a meeting of concerned citizens, Praja Spandana honorary president Lanka Jagannadham, president C.S. Rao, former IAS officer E.A.S. Sarma, and former Andhra University Vice-Chancellor K.V. Ramana stated on Saturday that by charging a nominal entry fee, with exemptions to senior citizens, children, physically challenged, and white card-holders, the park would get an annual revenue of Rs.60 lakh to Rs.80 lakh.

They expressed anguish at the GVMC allowing the use of road margins and pavements for commercial purpose and building shops to sell firecrackers during Deepavali.

Corpus fund

A corpus fund was proposed by contributions from philanthropists, the GVMC, and the local area development fund from MLAs and MPs to ensure better upkeep of the park. They also sought steps to prevent axing of trees as the area had several priceless century-old trees.

The meeting demanded installation of a large size photo of the old jail. In fact, the participants said the old building, which had heritage value, should not have been flattened. After removing the debris, there was an attempt to allot it for multiplex and I-Max theatre. However, the idea was abandoned after Praja Spandana obtained an order from the High Court to develop the erstwhile jail area into a park.

More In: Visakhapatnam