An emphatic wish for toning the quality of life in the city with good plans for solid waste management, enough space for playgrounds and, above all, a compassionate concern for slum-dwellers marked the third day’s stakeholders’ meeting on revised City Development Plan (CDP) at GVMC on Friday.
The tone for the meeting was set up by senior member of National Technical Advisory Group of JNNURM R.V. Rama Rao who said the thrust should be on pro-poor programmes with 35 per cent of the population being poor. With cost escalation and land acquisition delaying the projects, provision must be made for completion of projects taken up in the first phase with those in peripheral areas coming as link projects. Instead of piecemeal approach, the entire watershed area of storm water drains should be taken up to prevent submergence.
Municipal Commissioner M.V. Satyanarayana said the exercise would include current status, potential gaps and the public’s wish list before a draft report was readied. Former Mayor Rajana Ramani felt that whenever houses were provided, slums should be denotified depending upon the conditions. Stadiums for cultural programmes and sports should be constructed.
Plight of slum-dwellers
Vice-Chairman of People for India Visakhapatnam chapter B.L. Narayana narrated the plight of slum-dwellers shifted from Omkarnagar and Sevanagar any CDP should better the plight of those living in the 600 slums. Slum development should comply with National Slum Policy and houses should be given at a low cost under RAY. He opposed any move for public private partnership stating that it would be driven only by profit.
Former corporator B. Eswaramma said without developing slums model city was not possible. She wanted to know whether any preliminary survey was conducted for CDP. Asserting that BRTS would be failure she alleged there was total confusion on the land to be acquired and several residents were rendered homeless. Sujata of AIDWA found fault with priority not being given to health while Madhavi alleged there was a plan to privatise the city and wanted the CDP to be accepted by consensus.
VARWA secretary A.V. Ramana Rao opposed any move to put restrictions on water tapping without adequate water supply. VJF president G. Srinubabu wanted only implementable schemes to be taken up.
Srinivas Sadaram suggested that the rate of influx of the poor should be gauged to provide low cost housing. Sohan Hatangadi (INTACH) wanted enforcement of rules to comply with solid waste disposal rules and laying of underground cables to help trees grow.
Pragada Vasu of ARTD urged that transit housing be taken up in a big way in view of a large migrant workforce coming to city working in setting up industries.
G. Srinivas of Samata feared that CDP would give way to elected body’s decisions in future.
Team leader from CEPT University preparing CDP Saswat Bandopadhyay and HRD Consultant A. Rajendra Krishna spoke.