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Visakhapatnam: GVMC planning to develop a slum in each zone, says Commissioner

‘Officials will conduct a study on various problems in the slum and take steps to solve them. Then the project will be extended to other slums too’

November 23, 2022 12:54 am | Updated 12:54 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

An elderly couple living in a slum near the fishing harbour in Visakhapatnam.

An elderly couple living in a slum near the fishing harbour in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: File photo: K.R. DEEPAK

In situ development of slums appears to be the focus area of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC). This idea appears to be have been developed by the civic body, after many social activists have advocated the cause as earlier plans of shifting slums to the city outskirts have failed and had caused hardship to the slum dwellers.

Keeping this mind, the GVMC has decided to give a facelift to the slums in the city. As a pilot project, the corporation has proposed to upgrade one slum in every zone on a pilot model. If everything goes well, the authorities will extend the same to other slums. Officials from different wings of the GVMC were asked to visit the slum. There will be a study on various issues related to engineering like drains, roads and street lights. Similarly, other issues like sewerage, water supply, town planning, sanitation and horticulture will also be studied.

Once the data is ready and the budget estimates will be prepared. Later, the corporation would resolve the issues giving an overall facelift to the slum.

“In some slums, overall revamp is not possible because many have constructed their houses there and have been living there since a long time. So, in such slums, this programme will be taken up partially. After the pilot project, if the budget and other issues are under our control, then the project will be extended to other slums too,” said GVMC Commissioner P. Raja Babu. He also said, “Apart from understanding the infrastructure gaps over there, the slums will also get a complete facelift.”

The GVMC has already initiated a study on a slum area in Zone III. Such studies will also be carried out in some slums in other zones in the coming weeks, it was learnt.

As per the GVMC officials, there were around 450 slums in the city during the year 2005. After merger of various areas under the corporation in the past one decade, Their number increased to 790 in Visakhapatnam Urban limits. Out of the total, around 430 slums were notified.

‘Involve people’

Pragada Vasu from Association for Urban & Tribal Development (AUTD), which has been working on slum development for several years, said that as part of the slum development, the corporation must also involve people and seek their opinions.

About a decade ago, a slum, Surya Teja Nagar, was developed with all amenities. During its upgradation, the authorities have visited the area and interacted with the public. The corporation may visit the colony, he said.

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