After the success of Kotappakonda Hill festival, the Tourism Department has sets its eyes on the historic Kondaveedu Fort, where a two-day hill festival is set to begin on Saturday. However, there are concerns that the massive footfalls might destroy the fragile ecosystem besides causing pollution. Recent excavations have pointed to the existence of Buddhist remnants exciting archaeologists.
The list of events includes paragliding, helicopter ride, cultural shows and adventure sports.
With just days to go for the election code of conduct, the district administration is ensuring that all arrangements are completed. LED lights have been erected along the ghat road extending to 4.3 km drawing tourists.
The fort has been a favourite hunting ground for treasure seekers for many years until Kalli Siva Reddy, a employee of Cooperative Department, took up the cause in 2004. The district administration evinced a keen interest in the year 2009 and since then, development works have picked up beginning with the laying of a ghat road leading to the fort.
However, the decision to hold the festival in line with the festivals conducted at Kotappakonda, near Narsaraopet, Kondapalli, is drawing criticism. The approach road leading to the water tanks has not been laid and the district administration is completing a kucha road. The road has no walled lining and the remaining works atop the fort too have not been completed.
Minister for Civil Supplies Prathipati Pulla Rao, who also represents the region which comes under Chilakaluripet constituency, however, brushed aside the concerns and said the festival would draw tourists across the country. He said that works to the tune of ₹90 crore had been taken up and development works to the tune of ₹200 crore were in the pipeline.