Andhra Pradesh

A sleepy coastal village braces to turn ‘smart’

For the denizens of Krishnapatnam coastal village, 25 km east of Nellore, the sanction of a smart city has come as a surprise. It is also loaded with opportunities that will improve their economy, besides generating jobs.

They have no idea as to what exactly the “industrial smart city”, which has been sanctioned by the Central government, is all about, but they are certain as regards its potential to transform their village. They hope that the concept will promote inclusive growth cutting across all sections of people even as effectively addressing the basic issues such as drinking water, good drainage system and check on pollution.

“We fondly hope that the project will address issues concerning civic amenities, besides setting up industries and creating jobs,” said R. Venkateswarlu, former sarpanch of Krishnapatnam.

N. Sridharan, Director, School of Planning and Architecture, too, laid emphasis on inclusive growth of a city involving all communities. “A Smart City is not just about optic fibre but about basic facilities for the large work force that will come to stay. They should be involved in governance and the development process fully,” he said.

Apart from providing basic amenities to what is largely a rural area, lack of vibrant and expected industrial growth seem to be posing a challenge to the project. “We expected many more jobs from Reliance thermal power project, but it has stopped. If such projects are fully active, our employment problem will be totally solved,” Venkateswarlu added.

Krishnapatnam is one of the 21 village panchayats under the Muthukur mandal limits and is well connected by road to the Chennai-Howrah National Highway. The sleepy coastal village has been witnessing steady increase in port and industrial activity in the past one decade. Besides the 4000-MW Krishnapatnam Ultra Mega Power Project (KUMPP), there are three other thermal power projects and oil extraction units. All these have come as a life-changing experience for the local people, and their living standards have improved significantly. They are now waiting for KUMPP to become fully operational and create jobs.

The government is also expected to identify pockets of land running to 200 to 300 acres for the Smart City somewhere within the 15-km radius of Krishnapatnam.

Krishnapatnam villagers say they have benefitted from the existing projects. “We will be very happy if it becomes Smart City. Already because of the port, our villagers have got jobs there and our children are studying in an English medium school,” said Mochella Molakamma, sarpanch of Krishnapatnam village.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 6:25:32 PM |

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