Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM: Eighty-year-old C.S. Rao, founder of Praja Spandana and retired IES officer, went on a one-day fast near the Gandhiji statue in front of Tenneti Bhavanam, the GVMC main office building here, on Friday to urge the State government to develop a park as a community asset on the site.

Mr. Rao has chosen the World Environment Day to undergo fast. “This day is important because people world over are being once again reminded about the need to protect the environment and pass on a clean climate to the next generations. The old Central Jail site in the heart of the city with some hundreds of well-grown trees has to be developed into a park but the authorities have not taken any step in this direction,” he said.

Nearly 30 acres in area of the old Central Jail premises has trees, many of which are more than 100 years old. It is a huge lung space for the city. Some trees were felled to lay a wide road around the site and the site is in a state of neglect now.

Earlier a proposal was made to convert it into a huge shopping mall with multiplexes, etc. but it has been successfully thwarted by the locals. On Friday, Mr. Rao commenced his fast after he along with a senior physician and Padma Sri awardee Kootikuppala Surya Rao and children of Child Foundation of India went round the site in a rally. Dr. Surya Rao inaugurated Mr. Rao’s fast camp.

Several people called on Mr. Rao during his fast.