Andhra Pradesh

Newly-merged panchayats spell out their priorities

Located on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, towards Bheemili, are located the five panchayats of K. Nagarapalem, Chepaluppada, Kapuluppada, Nidigattu and JV Agraharam.

Surrounded by a sea of prosperity on all sides, these panchayats — which constitute around 50 hamlets — have remained bereft of development as they lack even basic infrastructure such as proper roads, drainage, good schools and clean drinking water.

The region, which was earlier a gram panchayat, was merged into the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) a year ago. In the recent ward re-organisation procedure, the GVMC has allotted these five panchayats under Ward 4. For the first time, the residents, who are going to cast their votes in the municipal polls, demand basic amenities first and foremost.

Most of the main roads connecting the villages are in a bad condition, while interior roads are in an even worse shape. The locality does not have a proper drainage system due to which sanitation problems occur, resulting in health issues for the residents. Dustbins are few and far in between where residents can dump their household waste. Some locals have complained that the street lights too do not function properly, especially in the stretch between K. Nagarapalem and Kapuluppada.

“With many areas located in a hilly region, residents face drinking water issues. I have seen the development in GVMC areas. We want good schools in our region, The primary school in our area does not even have proper toilets. Some blocks are in a dilapidated condition,” said Ramesh Babu, a resident of K. Nagarapalem.

At Chepaluppada, Lakshmi, a resident, said that the drinking water they are supplied is yellow in colour on most days. “We were happy after being merged with GVMC. But we demand basic amenities like roads, proper drainage and drinking water. This is what we demanded from the politicians who visited us during their campaign,” she said.

Some of the fisherfolk who were found working at the beach said that the government should put in place facilities for the fishermen along the coastal stretch.

“We do not have any store rooms near the beach or even some sheds. Some measures should be taken to prevent drowning deaths. Some locals have lost their children recently,” said Chinnayesu, a fisherman from Kotturu.

A few residents from Somannapalem village pointed out that these panchayats do not have basic transportation facilities to reach the city. They said that the frequency of the city buses towards Bheemili should be increased.

Most of the people in these villages are fishermen, farmers, labourers, toddy sellers and drivers. The locals say that there are many school dropouts from the locality, and unemployment is rampant. The locals sought the government to create some employment opportunities, especially in the tourism sector, for the local youth.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:52:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/newly-merged-panchayats-spell-out-their-priorities/article33992721.ece

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