Residents of Kurmannapalem do not have access to drinking water

The seemingly posh Kurmannapalem Phase V VUDA layout, struggles to get protected drinking water, outlet for the flow of drains and play equipment for the parks. The VUDA Layout was formed in 1998 and developed in four phases – II, III, V and VII. The construction of buildings commenced in 2004. VUDA had allotted sites to some while the others were allotted individual houses, constructed by it.

The colony is bound by Fakir Takiya, a village said to be inhabited by the Muslim community around 250 years ago, on the north by Vignan College, West by VUDA Layout and on the south by a private layout.

The first impression one gets on looking at Phase V layout is the feeling of a posh colony with black topped roads and apartment complexes all around but going around the lanes is enough to understand the sorry state of affairs in the colony.

Phase V layout has around 80 houses. There are another 50 beneficiaries, who were allotted sites, but are yet to construct them. Wild shrubs have grown all over the place earmarked for the parks, causing problems to residents. The residents do not have access to protected drinking water supply. They either depend on bore wells or buy bottled water for their drinking water needs. Ironically, the colony has a huge concrete overhead tank which has been gathering dust ever since, according to the residents.

Though drains were provided by VUDA, no outlet was given for the flow of the drain water out of the colony and this has been creating problems for the residents.

The GVMC was ‘magnanimous’ enough to lay some water pipelines in the colony about four years ago. The work was, however, abandoned midway. The half-hearted efforts has resulted in sinking of soil and damage to the roads at some places.

Most of the residents are employees of Visakapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) and their family members. Students, government and private employees and others commute daily to Andhra University, GITAM University, the old town, Gajuwaka and other places. The residents have to walk for 1 km to 2 km to reach Kurmannapalem junction to take a city bus to reach their destination. “We had submitted a written representation to the RTC authorities on September 5 seeking diversion of a few city buses through the colony.

In the absence of direct buses, the residents are forced to rely on autorickhshaws to reach the nearest bus stop,” says V. Raja Rao.

“We have also suggested to the RTC to conduct a route survey and introduce a bus from Duvvada Railway Station via Autonagar, Chukkavanipalem, Apparel Park, Fakir Takiya village and VUDA Colony connecting the Visakhapatnam (main) Railway Station and RTC Complex. This route also reduces the distance to Autonagar junction by about 5 km,” he says.

The residents also submitted a copy of the memorandum to Gajuwaka MLA Chintalapudi Venkataramaiah two months ago.

He had promptly taken up the issue with the RTC but later gave up, perhaps, due to his preoccupation with other problems, according to the residents.

"Non-provision of outlets for the drains has led to the stagnation of drain water and proliferation of mosquitoes. The colony also badly needs a market and a hospital,” says M. Venkateswara Rao