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Updated: December 17, 2012 16:02 IST

Visakhapatnam pins hope on CM's visit

G. Narasimha Rao
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A view of the incomplete Asilmetta flyover in Visakhapatnam. Photo: K.R. Deepak
The Hindu A view of the incomplete Asilmetta flyover in Visakhapatnam. Photo: K.R. Deepak

The Chief Minister will tour the district for three days beginning on Monday.

People of the district are hoping that Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s tour happens at least this time and many problems dogging the district find a solution. Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy is scheduled to tour the district extensively for three days from Monday, participating in the Indiramma Baata and other programmes.

The Indiramma Baata was postponed in the past and his other tours have also been cancelled at the last minute, including a visit to the flood-hit areas during November. One disappointment in this tour is that no major project or work is included in his itinerary.

From agriculture to health, and from infrastructure to industries, the district needs urgent attention and Visakhapatnam being called City of Destiny, as prophesied by Sri C.R. Reddy several decades ago, might soon get the unwanted distinction of City of Despair if the Government fails to act fast, say the locals.

One major project which is extremely important for all-round growth of not only the district but also Uttarandhra, but has been pushed to back burner is Uttarandhra Sujala Sravanthi, meant to bring several lakhs of acres under irrigation and stabilise the existing ayacut apart from providing water to the industries, by diverting the Godavari waters. No funds have been allotted to the project since Mr. Kiran Reddy took over the charge and all indications are that the Sujala Sravanthi is being allowed to die its natural death.

Apart from inadequate power supply, the overall lack of support to the industries saw the Visakhapatnam area not taking off as a mega industrial hub.

No new major industry has been established and investors are not enthusiastic about Visakhapatnam.

Meanwhile the huge areas of land acquired for allotting to industries are lying waste and the farmers and other dependents of these agricultural lands lost their livelihood and the situation is becoming alarming. The plight of fishermen community, present in this coastal district in a large number is pitiable, having been denied an access to the sea which is its right for centuries or the sea polluted by the industries. Pollution caused by industries earned the city the dubious distinction of being one of the most polluted places in the country but remedial action is not on the corresponding level.

The IT industry here continues to be a minor one on an all-India scale and its expansion is blocked by lack of sufficient power supply and other needs.

The promised incubation centre is yet to see the light of the day.

Health care is thriving in the private sector only and the State Government is yet to complete the Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences, planned on the lines of NIMS, Hyderabad, or put into use the finished part of it which can accommodate 400 patients. King George Hospital continues to suffer due to lack of sufficient funds.

The many major development activities planned at the KGH are either half done or not taken off at all.

The city modernisation seems to be a dream. One example of the lack of State Government support in this aspect is the delay in completing the Asilmetta flyover. The State Government is yet to release its 20 per cent share to the JNNURM works like this flyover and the progress is at snail’s pace. Major works planned by the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority are also not taken up.

Not appointing a regular Vice-Chancellor is having its effect on the functioning of Andhra University, one of the oldest in the country.

Delay in taking a decision and the issue landing in a legal tangle saw the university being run by a string of V-Cs incharge for the last one-and-a-half-years. Many more issues are there and people are waiting for Mr. Kiran Reddy to solve them.

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