It resembles a mere park with a vast play zone

Very few people visit the Shilparamam located near Vakalapudi beach here, and this has been the case since its inauguration that coincided with the Kakinada Beach Festival-2013. Spread in an extent of eight acres of sandy stretch abutting the beach road, the venue resembles a mere park with a vast play zone. A board with ‘Shilparamam’ written in Telugu greets visitors but once inside nothing except a few sculptures.

An aged watchman welcomes the guests. Some of the equipment in the play zone has already been damaged and the other items too are on the verge of getting reduced to scrap. Since there is hardly any shade and shelter at the venue, it is not possible to visit the place before sunset. Even after sunset, absence of electricity forces the visitor to leave the place in a hurry.

“This area is away from the city and it is a risky to be here with the family after dark. And there is nothing here to entertain us,” says M. Raghuram, an employee with a nationalised bank. There was severe criticism from different quarters with regard to the location, when the Shilparamam project had been announced some three years ago. Absence of public transport and lack of basic facilities were the issues mainly focused upon. However, the officials were hell-bent on giving a shape to the project and spent a huge sum of Rs. 7 crore on the Shilparamam.

Waste of money

“It is nothing but a waste of public money. It is amidst the industrial area and the vicinity is known for air pollution,” says A. Sireesha, a housewife from Santhi Nagar. In fact, the ownership of the site in which the project has come out, is at question. The revenue and the port departments have locked the horns over the issue and the oil companies too have a series of objections over the project.