A colony about which old timers reminisce with joy

Nearly 5,000 people live in Abidnagar, which is well-planned and spacious

February 21, 2013 12:07 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 09:07 pm IST - Visakhapatnam:

A view of the Abidnagar park at Akkayyapalem in Visakhapatnam. — Photo: K.R. Deepak

A view of the Abidnagar park at Akkayyapalem in Visakhapatnam. — Photo: K.R. Deepak

Akkayyapalem is one of the oldest, lively and fledging residential colonies of the new city. The process of establishment of the colony began as early as 1960. In the middle of 60s the then district Collector Abid Hussein allotted land for a residential colony involving several revenue employees which later came to be known as Abidnagar and part and parcel of the grand Akkayyapalem. The housing layout in course of time it developed into an organised employees residential area since the 1970s. Compared to other older residential areas the colony is well-planned, spacious and neat and a clean one. An estimated 5,000 people live in Abidnagar, which is closely connected to the National Highway 5.

Vijaya Kumari, a school teacher, says that the colony is not what it was after the year 2000. The colony lost its pristine beauty. It was once scarcely populated with spacious independent dwellings, and front and backyards had lot of greenery. The original character of the area changed with the demolition of old buildings and apartment complexes coming in their place. Today most of the independent dwellings had been replaced by apartment complexes dwarfing the few buildings, whose owners refused to fall in line. So only few landlords of yesteryears are there to tell the story of the extinct residential township and life that was and that is. Today each apartment complex with 50 to 60 flats have emerged as a township within a township. It is difficult to keep track of people and happenings, say the locals.

Ashok, a resident of the colony since 1970 says that if the old timers who are dead were to rise from the grave, they would not be able to recognise their house as the demography of the area had undergone a sea change. Those were the days when there was a lot of open vacant space for playing cricket and kabbadi and we breathed fresh air. “Today I feel imprisoned in my colony, and the huge structures dwarfing me make me insignificant and insecure,” he says.

Cricket teams

Abidnagar Residents Welfare Association secretary Jafullah Khan recalls the days in his colony when multiple cricket teams played cricket in the colony open space which had been developed into a beautiful park. There was life in the colony when the youth played cricket and youngsters playing games and making noise throughout the day was quite common. The area had 30 to 40 cricket teams but today the colony is full of apartment complexes with no open space left for the children and youth. Development had robbed the zest for life and the picture of life is very hazy today. Old timers have something to go down the memory lane for but the youth of today there will be no fond memories to cherish, says an octogenarian Shyam Sunder.

The colony has a beautiful park with flowers, greenery and a lovely walking track which attracts the young and the old. The old and lost generation in their 70’s and 80’s make it a point to meet at the park in the mornings and evenings to share their joys and sorrows. Jafullah Khan and the association treasurer S. Ramesh are the moving force behind the development of the beautiful park.

About 130 members of the association have generously contributed to the development of the park in partnership with the GVMC. Ramesh says, there is abundant water resource in the Akkayyapalem area, a survey conducted in the past revealed that the area has enough ground water for the next 50 years.

Former corporator and ex-member of GVMC standing committee Banala Sathya Surya Sreenivasa Rao says that underground drainage would come into operation once the pump houses are ready. Houses for scavengers and shadikhana for Muslims were part of the development in Abidnagar.

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