Over the years Ramnagar has become a much sought-after residential locality

From a tiny village-like set-up to a bustling hub of residential and commercial complexes, Ramnagar locality has gone through a transformation that few colonies in the city have. Around four to five decades ago, the colony was predominantly inhabited by the Yadav community. It was in the late 1970s that the first winds of change arrived in Ramnagar. The VUDA Housing Colony was developed and several small flats were taken up by residents.

Over the years the face of the colony changed and in the past decade Ramnagar has become a much sought-after residential locality, thanks to its proximity to major areas such as RTC Complex and a hub of healthcare facilities coming up in the neighbourhood. “The area is surrounded by several educational institutes and hospitals. Very rarely you will find an area that has such easy access to so many facilities,” said B. Rama Jogi, resident of Ramnagar and a builder.

Recalling a sea change in the development of the colony, Mr. Rama Jogi said, “in 1990, the per-square-foot rate was just Rs 320. But today, it has crossed Rs 4,500.” Builders are keeping a close eye on the growth of the colony. Many old houses have given way to plush apartments and today, there is hardly any open area left untouched. “There is a huge demand for residences here. Compared to its neighbouring localities like Facor Layout and CBM Compound, the rents here are lower, which makes it an attractive proposition for a middle-class family,” he added.

Disadvantages

But one of the disadvantages of the colony is the small size of plots where old houses are built. “The plots measure less than 200 square yards. It is difficult to get an apartment built in such a small area. At least two to three house plots are needed for developing a proper apartment complex,” Mr. Rama Jogi said.

While one side of Ramnagar is dotted with apartment complexes, the other end of the locality still holds an old world charm with the rows of small houses paint a picture of the past. The Nehru Nagar area where the VUDA Colony is located has close to 370 families. Most residents have been living there since 1970s and have developed a special bond with the area.

“For the senior citizens, this colony is like a single joint family,” said Madhusudhan Rao, who has been living there since 1977. The development of YSR Park at the Old Jail Road junction has come as a boon for the people. It is a meeting place for the senior citizens of the Ramnagar area. “We meet our friends every evening, go for walks in the park and share the memories of good old days,” said Mr. Rao, who is also secretary of Nehru Nagar Welfare Association, one of the oldest resident associations of the colony. Many new apartments have come up in the colony, but the residents here feel that the freedom of living in small independent houses can never be replicated in the plush apartments.

More In: Visakhapatnam