The colony developed in the 1990s is a glaring example of lack of urban planning

It can boast of being a posh and upmarket area with good elevation and picturesque view of the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, Hindustan Shipyard, and Visakhapatnam Harbour. But, denizens settled here are forced to grapple with poor civic amenities.

Developed in the early 1990s, constructions boomed on the hilltop area in FACOR layout within a few years attracting many to buy their properties. Only a few individual houses dot the area, as apartments have mushroomed everywhere in the colony. The area has the city’s first row houses. Initially, a triplex in an area of 170 square yards was sold for Rs.30 lakh. Now, for buying any deluxe flat in the colony, one has to shell down somewhere around Rs.5,000 per sft. Home to nearly 10,000 people, the colony is a glaring instance of urban planning turning into a casualty.

Denizens blame both the VUDA and the GVMC for lack of planning. There is no garbage disposal system. Permissions have been given to convert the area into a concrete jungle without any lung space. “It is shocking that we don’t have a park. Bins placed at various places are not cleared regularly. Heaps of garbage lead to mosquito breeding and night-time travel in the area is a nightmare due to stray dog menace,” Capt. Pritam Mohanty, who works in Gangavaram Port and residing in one of the apartments in the colony for over one and a half decades, said.

Door-to-door garbage collection is in vogue only in some parts of the colony. Some residents even dump leftover food and solid waste in either vacant sites or middle of the road.

“The civic body appointed person collects garbage from the apartments on payment of Rs.500 per family. This is also restricted to only a few apartments,” he bemoaned.

The colony is surrounded by Four Points by Sheraton, guesthouse of Saraf family of Ferro Alloys Corporation Ltd, Ramnagar-GVMC, Sri Prakash School, and Bachpan School. For shopping, the residents have to go to Fresh Choice or Karachiwala at Siripuram.

There is not much coordination among the residents. It is a pity that there is no residents’ welfare association for FACOR layout.

“It used to be a nightmare for all of us till 2008. During those days, the approach roads to the layout from Waltair Main Road, entering through a lane opposite the Circuit House, from Asilmetta side, entering through a lane opposite Sampath Vinayak Temple and the third one - a steep road behind the GVMC building, were left unattended after digging for underground drainage, drinking water pipeline, and storm water discharge. Huge pits, stony mounds, and deep craters used to greet us,” recalled a resident. Now, the situation has improved significantly with good roads and street lights. “Quality of life is very important and we expect that the GVMC will pay due attention to improve the living standards in the colony,” said N.B.R. Trinadh, another resident.

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