Andhra Pradesh

Anakapalle’s dilemma: to merge with GVMC or not

Industrial pollution is a major concern for residents of Anakapalle, with many people reportedly suffering from respiratory problems due to the high number of pharma units located in the region.  

Will the inclusion of Anakapalle municipality in the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) breathe fresh life into the condition of its wards? Residents are divided over the issue even as the municipality finds itself battling a severe shortage of funds and staff.

Anakapalle has the second largest jaggery market in the country. It became a municipality in 1878. There have been calls for merging the municipality with the GVMC in the hope that the wards will see some much-needed development.

Some outlying areas of Anakapalle, like Thadi, Rajupalem and Koppaka, were included in the GVMC in August 2017. Wards 80 to 84 in Zone-7 of Anakapalle have been merged with the GVMC. They will be going to the polls for the first time after their merger. While many of the locals welcome the merger, they are keeping their fingers crossed over the development of the wards.

There are some citizens who are not happy with the merger as they would have to pay higher taxes. The condition of the roads and drains in these wards has not improved after the merger, they complain. Areas located on the banks of the Sarada had been facing submersion during floods. The roads and drains are in a bad shape, residents say, and wonder whether a merger with GVMC will ensure better development of their wards.

“Last year, we had bumper profits with around 400 truckloads of jaggery lumps. There are two cold storages. Jaggery factories from Maharashtra are selling jaggery powder in 30 kg bags in the last few years. Now, we have also started making jaggery powder,” says Korukonda Butchiraju, a trader of Anakapalle.

“Though the sugarcane crops in the villages here are rain-fed, sugarcane gives at least 60% recovery even in case of natural calamities unlike paddy, where the entire crop would be damaged,” he says.

Thadi, another village included in GVMC, is badly affected by pollution from the pharmaceutical industries near Parawada. There were demands for shifting the villagers to safer places before the last general elections. “There is contamination of groundwater and the waste gases being released into the atmosphere by the pharma industries enveloping Thadi. Now, there is no more talk of shifting the villagers,” says J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy, State assistant secretary of the CPI.

All the five wards in Anakapalle zone are reserved for women. While wards 80 and 81 are reserved for women from the BC community, wards 82. 83 and 84 are reserved for women from the general category.

Anakapalle MP B.V. Satyavathi and MLA Gudivada Amarnath are already campaigning for the ruling party nominees in the GVMC elections. The TDP has former Minister Bandaru Satyarayana Murthy campaigning for the nominees of the party nominees.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 4:51:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/anakapalles-dilemma-to-merge-with-gvmc-or-not/article33983786.ece

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