The prominence of this temple town is set to increase further with the decision to establish a battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). It will come up on a 50-acre piece of land out of a total 214 acres belonging to the TB sanatorium.
Apart from the hill shrine of Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy, popularly known as ‘Panakala Swamy', and handlooms, the 6th battalion of the Andhra Pradesh Special Police exists here. And now, the NDRF is going to give a fillip to the development of this town, which is conveniently located between Vijayawada and Guntur. The land allotted for the NDRF unit was officially transferred to its name on Wednesday by officials of the Revenue Department.
A sum of Rs. 250 crore was initially earmarked for establishing the NDRF unit, which would swing into action during cyclones, floods and any other natural calamity.
Construction of buildings would be taken up by the Central Public Works Department, which would also create necessary infrastructure. The NDRF coming up here would have more than 1,000 personnel, including para-medical staff and technicians permanently stationed here. The rescue teams would be drawn from the Central Reserve Police Force till the NDRF gets its own manpower. Located close to the NDRF unit would be the proposed super-specialty hospital and a campus of Vijayawada-based NTR University of Health Sciences. The NDRF unit was expected to pave the way for all-round development of this area.