Andhra Pradesh

Amenities in Rampa Agency: still miles to go

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Absence of transport facilities to Maredumilli is proving a hurdle to tap tourism potential

In the Rampa Agency, the drop in temperature is attracting people from across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, and Chattisgarh, but the absence of hygienic food and transportation facilities in the entire stretch of Maredumilli forests remains a hurdle in tapping the tourism potential.

At 1,350 feet above the Mean Sea Level at Volamuru village in the Maredumilli forest, the Forest Department recorded a temperature as low as 40 C in November 2018.

At Volamuru, the Forest Department runs a resort, Jungle Resort. The Horticulture Research Institute, Rampachodavaram, has recorded the season’s lowest temperature of 14.20 C on December 31, 2019.

Jungle Resort co-ordinator Veera Babu said: “Most of the tourists are coming from Hyderabad, Khammam, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari areas.”

However, there is no transport facility to the most sought-after places such as Gudisa grassland, Annato seed fields at Vollangi, and interior parts of the Papikonda National Park in the Rampa Agency.

Extremism

The Agency has potential to become the most sought-after tourist destination, but the existing social tension owing to the presence of Left Wing Extremism and proximity to the Red Corridor are forcing the governments to stop exploring its beauty and improve the tourism infrastructure.

Beginning with Maredumilli to Rampachodavaram, except in resorts, hygienic food is not available in the 20-km stretch of the forest cover via the national highway. The highway in the Agency connects Chhattisgarh and Odisha to Andhra Pradesh in the Chintooru forests.

Night stay

At Vollangi, rows of visitors are seen riding their two-wheelers, carrying water cans, food packets, and blankets to arrive at their destination — Gudisa grassland, a valley surrounded by five hills — to stay for the night.

Many photographers said that reaching and staying in the Gudisa valley was an adventure worth undertaking. What is worrying is that no means

of transportation is available in the 45-km stretch from Maredumilli to the Gudisa valley. However, there are no boarding facilities in the valley either, except to erect tents to stay for the night.

The majority of the 1103.72 square km of Very Dense Forest in the East Godavari district is present in the Rampa Agency, in which Papikonda National Park thrives with wildlife.

Food

Maredumilli, the heartland of Rampa Agency, has 36 bamboo chicken units and the majority of them do not serve the authentic delicacy as prescribed by the Konda Reddi tribe. The non-tribal people who settled in the bamboo chicken trade are offering various food varieties only to exploit the demand for those varieties. Until one exits from the Rampa Agency, access to the mobile phone signals is not guaranteed in any location in the Agency that is affected by Left Wing Extremism.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 2:24:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/amenities-in-agency-still-miles-to-go/article30481798.ece

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