Facelift to monuments of neglect

Tourism authorities equipped with funds to upgrade local properties

January 12, 2014 12:37 pm | Updated May 13, 2016 09:06 am IST - VIJAYAWADA:

Gandhi Memorial Stupa atop Gandhi Hill in Vijayawada. Photo: V. Raju

Gandhi Memorial Stupa atop Gandhi Hill in Vijayawada. Photo: V. Raju

After a prolonged lull in activity, the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) is finally all set to switch to action mode in Vijayawada region.

Most part of the year that just passed by was about ‘all-promises-no-implementation’. But the tourism authorities are now equipped with funds to upgrade, augment and enhance local properties awaiting their attention.

The Tourism Corporation has its hands full with works related to development of scenic spots like the Gandhi Hill, the picturesque Bhavani Island on River Krishna and the historic Kondapalli Fort near Vijayawada.

Gandhi Hill

Gandhi Hill, the first Gandhi memorial with seven stupas in the country was constructed on this hill at a height of 500 ft. The project was unveiled by the then President of India Zakir Hussain on October 6 in 1968. Regardless of its great significance that reflects in the Gandhi Memorial library and a sound and light show on Mahatma Gandhi’s life the place has, besides a planetarium and a toy train, the structure is reduced to a monument of neglect over the years.

To reclaim its glory, the APTDC plans to spend funds to the tune of Rs. 3 crore. The works it proposes to take up include modernisation of the toy train which is currently in a dilapidated state, re-laying of the road that goes up the hill, renovation of the library and the museum and add new features besides illuminating the place.

“We will soon call tenders for taking up works worth Rs. 75 lakhs at Kondapalli Fort. The walls that have collapsed will be reconstructed and other demolished structured will be restored,” says Babu Prakash, Executive Engineer of the engineering wing of APTDC. The fort is located on the west of the Kondapalli village and was built by Prolaya Vema Reddy of Kondaveedu in the 14 century. What was initially a pleasure place and a business centre later served as a military fortification and the British placed a strong garrison here.

At Bhavani Island, the long-pending amphitheatre works have been completed at a cost of Rs. 56 lakh while the jetty is being repaired at a cost of Rs. 14 lakh.

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