Vijayawada

Canals likely to get facelift

Bandar, Eluru and Ryves canals branching off from the Krishna eastern main canal near the Police Control Room in VIjayawada.- Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

Bandar, Eluru and Ryves canals branching off from the Krishna eastern main canal near the Police Control Room in VIjayawada.- Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar  

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Despite CM’s resolve for beatifying the water bodies, evacuation of people living along the canals remains a concern. During general elections, both the TDP and BJP expressed their commitment to developing Vijayawada into a smart city.

The Bandar, Eluru and Ryves canals which give the city its typical landscape will be developed into tourist attractions in the near future, as part of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s plans to transform Vijayawada into a model for other city.

Vijayawada Municipal Corporation officials could not take up the project for various reasons for a long time, but they can brook no further delay with instructions coming from none other than the Chief Minister. Relocation of thousands of people living along the canals being the major impediment, the Chief Minister has mooted construction of a township in about three acres available in the city for accommodating 500 to 1,000 families. The cost of township was estimated to be Rs. 15 crore. The nearly 4,000 flats (G+2) constructed by the government for the poor under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) at Jakkampudi are sought to be utilised for the purpose. Instructions have also been issued to give a facelift to this habitation.

A substantial number of the 3.5 lakh slum-dwellers in the city live along these canals and previous attempts to shift them have failed due to a host of issues including political interference. But, with the Chief Minister donning the mantle of beautifying the city to global standards, the canals may finally wear a better look and the poor may move to healthy environs, where there will be no threat of flood during rainy season.

During general elections, both the TDP and BJP expressed their commitment to developing Vijayawada into a smart city. The BJP had even included shaping of the three canals into tourist spots on the lines of Thames and Seine Rivers in London and Paris in its urban development plan during electioneering.

Vijayawada Tax Payers’ Association Secretary M.V. Anjaneyulu told The Hindu that the proposals were welcome. But, he doubted whether they would ever fructify as those living along the canals were reluctant to move out due to apprehension that the flats into which they might be asked to shift, would not be bigger than the ones measuring 25 square yards each built at Jakkampudi. This (small size of the flats) was the very reason for most of the flats there remaining unoccupied. Constructing larger flats would have financial implications. However, availability of land is not an issue, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:23:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/Canals-likely-to-get-facelift/article10944070.ece

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