It is official now. The State government has dropped the move to privatise Bhavani Island perched on Krishna river in Vijayawada.
“The proposal to privatise Bhavani Island has been dropped and the property will remain with the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) for further development,” Chandana Khan, Special Chief Secretary, Tourism and Culture, told The Hindu on Friday.
“Tenders called for privatisation of the picturesque island have been dropped which also means clearance of the roadblocks that hindered the proposed development works aimed at enhancing the beauty of the place,” APTDC Krishna Division Manager J. Raghupathi Rao said.
Mr. Rao said the decision was announced by Ms. Khan at a meeting of the Corporation’s Divisional Managers held in Hyderabad early this week (on March 26).
“Now that the haze has cleared, we will not waste any time in implementation of the development and grooming plans that will transform the island into a major tourist attraction. In addition to the existing facilities, we intend to introduce 25 new adventure sports and video games,” said Mr. Rao.
Lawns will be developed in the unused stretches and a separate party zone will be created. The boating jetty, which was partially eroded due to floods, will be repaired and made operative and the pylon which welcomes visitors at the entrance point will get a fresh coat of paint. The structure will also be illuminated using multi-hued colour lights, added Mr. Rao.
The Divisional Manager also hinted at development of a local bazaar on the lines of Shilparamam in Hyderabad. “A few incomplete structures are already there, which will be completed and put to use during festivals to exhibit and sell handicrafts from different parts of the country,” he said.
“Once the half-built amphitheatre is completed, it will be transformed into a hub of cultural activities. Artistes from different places will find a platform here to showcase their talent,” Mr. Raghupathi Rao said, adding that the proposed projects would be implemented in a phased manner.