Several tourism projects cry for attention in Visakhapatnam

Officials and people hope that the new government will take steps to complete them

Updated - June 16, 2024 11:08 am IST

Published - June 16, 2024 09:54 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

The project to convert the abandoned cargo ship MV Maa near Tenneti Park in Visakhapatnam into a floating restaurant is not yet completed.

The project to convert the abandoned cargo ship MV Maa near Tenneti Park in Visakhapatnam into a floating restaurant is not yet completed. | Photo Credit: File photo

Several tourism projects from the city are yet to pick up pace in Visakhapatnam. With the formation of the new government, all eyes are on how fast the officials complete the projects to boost the tourism sector in the city. In the last five years, some tourism projects are not completed, despite having resources.

The plan to develop beachfront arenas at seven beaches in Visakhapatnam did not move forward.

The plan to develop beachfront arenas at seven beaches in Visakhapatnam did not move forward. | Photo Credit: File photo

It has been almost four years since the abandoned ship MV Maa ran aground near Tenneti Park. The officials had mulled to convert it into a floating restaurant. The then Tourism Minister M. Srinivasa Rao, under whose supervision the work began in 2021, had promised to open it for the public by January 1, 2022. However, the project is not yet completed. Now, the place where the ship ran aground is being used as a shooting spot for weddings and movies.

Initially, the government had planned to develop beachfront arenas at seven beaches in Visakhapatnam. The beachfront arena project includes setting up of shacks, parking, toilets, washrooms and play arenas. However the project did not move forward.

A senior official from the Tourism Department said, “Initially in the first two years, there was no scope for taking up any work due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, gradually tourism activities picked up with the support of other departments.”

The G-20 Summit held in 2023 turned out to be a biggest boon for the city. A major part of the Beach Road stretch was renovated with good roads and viewpoints. This apart, some of the local beaches like Jodugullapalem and Sagar Nagar which were crying for attention since many years were given a facelift by the municipal corporation.

Meanwhile, the the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has initiated steps to develop beachfronts. Efforts were on to set up eco-friendly turtle theme-based beachfront arena near Sagar Nagar Beach over a five-acre space, with ₹15 crore budget. GVMC has also planned to set up a ‘yoga and meditation theme-based beachfront arena on the beach space near ISKCON temple area. Another proposal was to have ‘sports beach’ near Jodugullapalem. The officials hope that these projects will pick up pace in the coming months.

In the recent times, the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) has come up with floating bridge project at RK Beach. However the project has come under severe criticism for developing problems within days after inaugural. The officials claimed it as a trial run. It is not yet known whether the new government will continue the project at some other place or scrap it, said an official. Meanwhile, the sky-walk glass bridge proposal on Kailasagiri is still in the primary stage.

While Tenneti Park, Shivaji Park and Lumbini Park were given facelift by the VMRDA and the GVMC, other parks, including the Mudasarlova Park, which is said to be one of the biggest parks in the locality, need attention. Meanwhile, the scenic Yarada and Appikonda Beaches were also ignored.

In the last few years, the government has not organised annual tourism festivals like ‘Visakha Utsav’ and ‘Bheemili Utsav’, which has huge potential to attract domestic as well as International tourists.

“Since it was the TDP government which encouraged such utsavs during the period 2014-19, we are hopeful that they will be organised again,” said a senior official from the A.P. Tourism Development Corporation.

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