`Confluence point can attract more tourists if spruced up'
Now, only a guesthouse constructed by the district administration with four suites is available at the siteThe AP Tourism Development Corporation has also been approached for creating some facilities, but it is yet to respond
VIJAYAWADA: Completion of a tourist complex, provision of drinking water and electricity and introduction of boating facility for tourists visiting Saagara Sangamam (confluence of the Krishna river with sea) near Hamsaladeevi have been held up for want of funds.
Some time ago, the Tourism Department has started constructing a tourist complex very nearer to the point of confluence, with a restaurant, four rooms and toilets, all at a cost of Rs.7.5 lakhs. But it has not been thrown open to tourists in the absence of two most basic amenities -- drinking water and electricity.
At present, only a guesthouse constructed by the district administration with four suites is available at the site, but the rooms are opened only when a VIP visits the place.
A few tourists who descend on the place for a swim or for a dip on special occasions such as Magha Shuddha Pournami make use of the premises of the guesthouse for changing their dresses.
The Venugopalaswamy temple at Hamsaladeevi village turns into a beehive of activity on Magha Shuddha Pournami.
A specialty of the beach here is said to be an opportunity for tourists to spot dolphins. Signifying this, a structure depicting four dolphins playing with a ball has been created on top of the district administration's guesthouse, which catches tourists' attention.
It was at the initiative of K. Prabhakara Reddy, who served as District Collector, that the district administration began developing Saagara Sangamam. Mr. Reddy sensed the tourist potential of the place and got a 3.5 km-long road laid from Hamsaladeevi village right up to Saagara Sangamam point.
Though the road took a beating when tsunami struck the coast, it was strengthened and made into a blacktopped one just in time for Krishna Pushkarams. The road has made it easier for tourists to drive up to the point of confluence of the river with the sea.
In view of the interest being shown by District Collector Navin Mittal and Avanigadda MLA Mandali Buddha Prasad to develop the place, District Tourism Officer P. Vemana says that the expenditure for providing electricity (Rs.13 lakhs) and drinking water (Rs.4 lakhs) would be met from the funds available with the district administration.
This apart, District Collector had written to the State government seeking sanction of Rs.50 lakhs for completing the unfinished tourist complex and for a boating facility upto the Saagara Sangamam point.
The plans includes construction of two floating jetties and introducing a fibre boat with a capacity to carry 15 people in the Ratnakoderu drain that reaches up to the Saagara Sangamam.
"This way we can provide an opportunity to those tourists who do not come by their own vehicles to reach the confluence point without any difficulty," Mr. Vemana reveals. The boating facility will come in handy to tourists coming by their own vehicles when high tides prevent them from driving up to Saagara Sangamam.
The AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) has also been approached for creating some facilities, but it is yet to respond.