Ramesh Susarla

Maoists and monsoon deal a blow to Nagrarjunasagar’s potential

VIJAYPURI SOUTH (GUNTUR): Maoists and recent monsoon rains had dealt a blow to the tourism potential in Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and for the first time the visitors could not watch the water gushing out of the crest gates, last week.

Last year, Maoists had destroyed two launches – Shanti Siri and Krishna, which ferry tourists from the boating point close to the southern end of the NSP dam to Nandikonda, which houses world’s only island museum dedicated to Buddhism. .

Though damage to vessel Krishna was minor, repair works on Shanti Siri were still on, depriving tourists of a boat ride. Further, strong winds had forced the Tourism Department to cancel boat trips in the reservoir.

Security concerns

Tourists coming from all over the State were not being allowed to go to the dam due to fear of Maoists, who had threatened to blow up the masonry dam. Special security personnel were deployed to guard this structure round-the-clock.

Visitors have been satisfying themselves by watching the gushing waters from the ghat road on the left bank or from the new bridge, 500 metres away or Pylon colony on the right side.

New tourist hub

Meanwhile, tourists have been showing interest to visit the archaeological site at Anupu, five-km-away from the dam, abutting reservoir.

A small creek here serves as an anchoring point for fishermen’s boats.

The place is slowly gaining popularity among tourists as one can watch the vast reservoir from here.

Also, structures built by Acharya Nagarjuna, who had set up a university in the vicinity, have been tran-located here.

Lights damaged

Colourful lights, set up by the tourism department at a cost of Rs 20 lakh to provide an attractive view of Ethipothala waterfalls, were damaged due to the floods in the Chandravanka rivulet last month.

Proposals to replace the lights were sent to the authorities concerned.