Andhra Pradesh

VMRDA should cater to needs of all sections, say CPI(M) and FDNA

The CPI(M) and the Forum for Development of North Andhra (FDNA) have sought that the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) extend the date for submission of suggestions on draft Master Plan till September 30.

In separate statements, CPI(M) District Committee secretary K. Lokanadham and FDNA general secretary A. Aja Sarma said the main objective of the VMRDA was to provide affordable housing to all sections. It was side-tracked once the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) had started auction of plots during the 1990s, they said.

The purview of the VMRDA has been extended from Payakaraopeta in Visakhapatnam district to Gajapathinagaram and Poosapatirega in Vizianagaram district, increasing the area from a mere 1,721 sq. km to 4,873 sq. km. This could result in more problems to the people of far-flung villages as they have to approach VMRDA for various permissions, they said.

VMRDA, in its earlier avatar as VUDA and the Town Planning Trust (TPT), had developed many colonies with constructed houses or plots at affordable prices on ‘allotment basis’ in Visakhapatnam city and Vizianagaram apart from developing parks for the benefit of the general public in the city. But later this social concern paved the way for VUDA turning into a commercial organisation, the leaders said.

The very concept of the VUDA has changed it and was turned into a commercial organisation. The draft report was also prepared under this commercial background only. This was evident from the fact that out of 1.051 layouts approved by VUDA, only 49 are VUDA’s own layouts while the remaining were fully or partially private, where a low or a middle income group person has no place, they said.

They alleged that the VUDA was acting like an agent for private corporate real estate developers for making huge profits. The very policy of VUDA was turned into aggravating the housing problem instead of easing it. If the master plan really wants to address this issue, the present policy should be changed completely, they said.

In the entire draft, there was no mention about allotment of plots or flats to common people at affordable prices. They suggested among other things stopping of the acquisition of lands from the poor and farmers in the name of development of roads and infrastructure.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 2:37:20 PM |

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