EDITORIAL FEATURES

The changing face of Vijayawada

The Vijayawada city has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade, probably beyond imagination, on many fronts. Flyovers, widened roads, improved access to drinking water and sewerage facilities, new transport facilities, and the booming realty sector are a few to mention.

Decades-old landmarks Vijaya Talkies and Benz Company faded into history. New landmarks such as Inox have sprouted. The Satyanarayanapuram railway station paved the way for the Bus Rapid Transit System. Though incomplete, it is likely to become operational by 2012 January-end.

The JNNURM programme has changed the horizon of the city. The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation constructed 18,144 houses and plans to build 10,000 more, but land has become the greatest constraint. The city has received awards, including ESCA, Best City, Energy Saving, and CRISIL since 2006. The JNNURM imposed a per capita loan of Rs.4,400 on the people. The rental values have gone up by 200 per cent to 400 per cent with revision of values of properties in 2007. The ‘user charges' on garbage is are Rs.8-crore-a-year burden on people.

One of the prominent developments has been widening of the Bandar Road. The property values have gone up with the Visalandhra Road, Salaja Hospital Road, Tikkle Road etc. getting wider, but the traffic problem remains the same.

The Bandar Road is not widened uniformly to a width of 100 feet. The Hindu reported at length every aspect of this widening process.

The Nainavaram flyover constructed by the R&B Department (2007 to 2011) links the One Town and many other upcoming areas.

The Inner Ring Road that was planned in 2006 and begun in 2009 is nearing completion except for an RoB near Gunadala on the Howrah railway line.

Despite a sustained campaign, the flyover at Benz Circle, Outer Ring Road, road widening, and flyover near Durga temple remained at mere proposals stage, while traffic snarls have been slowing down traffic flow at intersection of NH9 and NH5. Similarly, setting up of a Government super-speciality hospital in the city is still a dream. Setting up of 10 super-specialty hospitals in the private sector is at various stages, making the city largest destination for medical care.

The Vijayawada Guntur Tenali Mangalagiri – Urban Development Authority's Payakapuram housing scheme (1987) and townships — Amaravathi, Singapore and Ambapuram — have not seen the light of the day. The flyover at Kaleswara Rao Market (2004) only compounded the traffic woes at the Police Control Room Junction.

The Goods and Trucks Terminal at Ibrahimpatnam is yet to be put into use.

Temple projects

Kanaka Durga temple officials planned Mallikarjuna Mahamandapam and Rajagopuram (yet to be completed) following death of six devotees in a stampede on Indrakeeladri during Bhavani deeksha viramana in 2008. Inundation of the One Town for three consecutive days in 2009 pointed out lapses in the civic administration.

The realty sector is catching its breath to strike back again after witnessing rapid development with many NRIs investing huge amounts six years ago. Encroachments on Karakatta, riverbed, and canal berms remain undisturbed and providing civic amenities to two lakh people on hill-slopes continues to be a challenge to government agencies.



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